A non-surgical treatment that uses a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells to treat chest pain or angina improved both symptoms and the length of time treated patients could be physically active, according to recent research.
“We injected a ‘catalyst’ molecule that caused bone marrow stem cells to enter the patient’s blood, then harvested them to re-inject into the patient,” said Hadyanto Lim, Ph.D., study senior author.
Thirty minutes after the cell separation procedure finished, the collected stem cells were injected back into the patient through an IV.
Four weeks after receiving the treatment, patients experienced significantly fewer angina-related symptoms, and they were able to exercise at a higher intensity and for a longer period of time.
The study’s limitations are the small number of patients and absence of a control group. Because no control group was used, the placebo effect cannot be ruled out, Lim noted.
Although this treatment is currently used to treat some cancers — multiple myeloma and lymphoma — it will need more investigation before it can be made available to the general public to treat angina, according to Lim.
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