Stem Cells From Patient's Own Bodies Used To Treat Heart Patients at Bangkok Hospital Medical Center

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Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre, in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh and Theravitae Ltd, is pioneering a technology that uses a patient's own stem cells to treat damaged heart muscle and heart failure.

A collaboration between Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, Theravitae Ltd and the University of Pittsburgh has created a new stem cell therapy treatment option at Bangkok's world-class hospital and medical facility.

Patients with heart damage or heart failure can now be treated at Bangkok Heart Hospital (a division of Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre) with stem cells from their own peripheral blood tissue.

Stem cell therapy involves the use of partially differentiated or undifferentiated cells to treat damaged tissue in several areas of the body. Their damaged heart muscle can be repaired without the need for tissue transplants or mechanical insertions.

The stem cells used are known as angiogenic precursor cells. These cells are designated as unipotent, that is, they have the potential only to become one type of mature cell.

However, their undeveloped status means that the body can utilize and reproduce them in a way it cannot with mature cells.

Cell selection and expansion using this method takes about a week - thousands of times less what it might take to find a suitable donor for heart tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging, a thoracoscopic camera and keyhole surgery are used to administer the stem cell product directly to the damaged area of the heart.

The surgery involves a small incision being made in the left side of the chest, and a thoracoscopic camera being inserted into the thoracic cavity. The cells are injected directly into the cardiac muscle at the point of damage, which is located using an MRI.

The technology also has the potential to be able to grow new heart tissue from a person's own stem cells, and Bangkok Hospital is leading the world in research in this area.

The new treatment option at Bangkok Heart Hospital means that medical tourists have a less invasive, more natural and scientifically advanced method of treatment for coronary artery disease and heart failure at a world-leading facility.

Bangkok Hospital is accredited by TEMOS (Telemedicine for the Mobile Society), an organization which assures international travelers of the quality and safety standards of hospitals worldwide. It also involves a patient's home doctor in the treatment and recovery process.

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