Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) September 26, 2005
Testing at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has confirmed the improvement of a Pennsylvania woman who underwent VesCellÂ stem cell therapy in Thailand in May, 2005.
Jeannine Lewis suffered from non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. She was in Class III-IV heart failure (the borderline of needing a heart transplant) and on maximal oral medical therapy. Her preoperative echocardiogram showed an Ejection Fraction (EF) of 25-30 percent. After three months, MRI results show that her EF has improved to 41 percent and doctors have reclassified her to Class I heart failure Â a significant improvement. Her shortening fraction and stroke volume have also increased.
In May, TheraVitae, the maker of VesCell, announced (ÂUS Heart Patients Being Treated with Adult Stem Cells in ThailandÂ) that Lewis would become the first patient in the world to receive VesCell therapy using minimally invasive, direct cell injections to the heart. The procedure was pioneered by Amit Patel M.D., Director of Cardiac Stem Cell Therapies at The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Dr. Patel accompanied Lewis to Bangkok in order to oversee her procedure.
Post-treatment, Lewis was in less pain and her exercise tolerance had increased greatly, Âwithin weeks, my symptoms had greatly decreased while my energy level simultaneously increased. I am now able to clean my house, do my shopping and actively care for and play with my young child.Â Lewis said. The recent quantitative test results now confirm what Lewis seems to have known from the beginning.
TheraVitae founder Don Margolis commented that LewisÂ results do not seem anomalous given the past results Dr. Patel saw in his own clinical trials (presented at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Thoracic Surgery in Tampa, Florida, in January 2005). ÂWe are optimistic that when this treatment becomes widespread, JeannineÂs amazing results will be the norm.Â
Envisioning VesCell therapy as a standard procedure for heart failure patients, Mr. Margolis enthused, Âwe hope to someday see a world where people will go from the transplant list back to normal lives.Â
VesCell consists of a patientÂs own adult stem cells harvested from approximately Â½ pint of the patientÂs own blood and is used to treat heart disorders. Once harvested, the cells are differentiated and expanded in vitro at the TheraVitae laboratories in Israel and are ready for implantation in about one week. The cellular product is a viable alternative for patients who either cannot undergo or choose not to undergo the standard treatments.
TheraVitae is a private, multinational company focused on using stem cells from the patient's own blood in order to treat a variety of disorders, especially cardiovascular diseases. The company has developed a proprietary stem cell technology called VesCell that is currently being used by hospitals in Thailand to treat patients with heart disease. TheraVitae is based in Bangkok, Thailand, Kiryat Weizmann, Israel, and Hong Kong.
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