English: Human bone marrow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Imagine a substance your doctor could inject directly into your heart soon after you have a heart attack that will prevent and/or repair some of the damage that heart attacks usually involve? AND thus possibly prevent you from developing heart failure as a result of the attack?
Yep. They’ve done it in a recent study with 40 patients in Japan – half got a protein drip called G-CSF and the rest a saline solution (placebo).
…researchers from the Gunma Prefectural Cardiovascular Center in Maebashi, Japan, have found that a protein called G-CSF—when injected into the hearts of patients who recently suffered an attack—can actually spur a type of bone marrow stem cells to migrate to the heart and curb the spread of cellular death that normally takes place.
Clinical trials are in the works to confirm these dramatic preliminary promises.
Happy to report on a number of small but significant developments in biomed research as reported in a recent MedPage Today.
Cell biology (Photo credit: Arenamontanus)
Regrowing heart tissue using bone marrow
stem cells after heart attacks. Healthy donors’ cells seem to work better than using the patient’s own compromised stem cells. Makes sense—if the heart is damaged, doesn’t seem right that cells from it would be okay. But of course it only looks obvious once we’ve actually learned it.
Fighting infection by controlling production of nitric oxide (NO). Silicate powder interacts with light to release NO and kill gram-negative bacteria without harming the host. Another useful partner for NO—and another good reason to get out and enjoy the sun.
Saving lives by preventing organ fibrosis (scarring). Peptide from collagen has prevented scarring in human skin samples and in lungs and skin of mice. It even reversed fibrosis that had already begun in mouse lungs. Wonder if they’ll ever be able to use it for COPD and emphysema victims.
Minimizing damage to healthy tissue by using nano-constructed cages for targeting and delivering drugs to specific cells. They’ve got the concept but need to work on the execution—e.g., controlling the porosity of the cage so the loaded drug doesn’t leak out before it reaches its target.
So much promise. My imagination goes wild with visions of a world with so much less suffering.