Sunday, July 29, 2007

New Adult Stem Cell Treatment A Possible Antidote For Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a term that means "heart muscle disease." It is also a term describing a series of disorders causing primary heart muscle dysfunction in both men and women, often leading to heart failure or sudden death. It is estimated that dilated cardiomyopathy, the most common form of cardiomyopathy is responsible for 10,000 deaths each year in the United States. There is no known cure.

Now, Theravitae, an international biotechnology company based in Thailand, claim they have a new possible panacea for dilated cardiomyopathy -- Theravitae's adult stem cell therapy. Theravitae's patented adult stem cell therapy, VesCell, is proving a lifeline to all those heart patients who do not wish their lives to be characterized by restricted activity, low energy, pain, cost and brevity. One of their biggest success stories is Michigan native, Jason Ludwick.

Jason Ludwick aged 34 from West Bloomfield, Michigan, counts himself a lucky man. Born with an atrial septal defect, by the time he was 15 he had a pacemaker; by 21 he was diagnosed as having cardiomyopathy and by 25 he had a defibrillator in place and an ejection fraction of just 8-10 percent. Heart failure dominated and restricted his life until he received adult stem cell therapy. Now he says that with training he could do a triathlon.

His mother searched for help after he was removed from a heart transplant list. He was then left only with medications, some of which had unpleasant side-effects and he felt constantly tired and depressed as he went back and forth to specialists having his medications reviewed. And then his mother found Theravitae, the Israeli-Thai researcher and developer of adult stem cell therapy, and Dr. Patel from the University of Pittsburgh. After being examined by Dr. Patel, Jason's life was about to change.

Dr. Patel felt that adult stem cells could help Jason, so he flew to Bangkok where a small amount of his blood was withdrawn and the stem cells that could help his heart were harvested in a laboratory then injected directly into his heart muscle at Bangkok Heart Hospital. Just one month later, Jason knew his life was going to change, "My heart was beating better, more rhythmically, and I had more energy," he said. "After six months I was up and flying, feeling 100 percent different. I could mow the lawns, take walks, ride a bike with my kids, lift weights -- do whatever I liked," he said. "I'm always on the go with our fifth child on the way and always busy as a full-time parent."

Jason has always enjoyed a huge level of support from his family and friends, but is very happy to spend time advising other cardiomyopathy sufferers of the power of positive thinking. "Always try to be positive," he counsels. "There is hope. Take care of your diet and help get the word out that adult stem cell therapy is worth getting done. It's nothing like what you would have thought." He loves helping Theravitae as a patient volunteer, talking to patients contemplating flying to Thailand for the help that is currently unavailable in the U.S.

The trend will continue to grow as more and more people become aware that they cannot be harmed by a therapy that uses their own adult stem cells and that the procedures are straightforward, effective and performed in world-class hospitals by skilled, often eminent, heart specialists. Most encouraging clinical outcomes are being supported by research findings as well as by patient report.

About TheraVitae

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, 'VesCell', that is currently being used by hospitals in Thailand and Singapore to treat patients with heart disease and peripheral artery disease.

VesCell -- A Natural Treatment for Heart Disease and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

The body has natural ways of healing itself and the cardiovascular system is no exception. Angiogenic Cell Precursors (ACPs) originate in bone marrow and then circulate in the blood vessels. To manufacture VesCell, TheraVitae expands a small number of ACPs harvested from about 250cc of blood into a therapeutic quantity. VesCell is injected either through a coronary artery via catheter, or during surgery, directly into the heart muscle.

A key aspect of VesCell therapy is the advanced cell isolation and expansion technique that allows for the ACPs to be harvested from blood collected in a procedure similar to a common blood donation. VesCell uses a patient's own adult stem cells to treat Heart Disease and PAD and is a viable therapeutic possibility for heart or PAD patients without any other treatment option.

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