Umbilical cord cells could provide lifesaving treatment for heart failure patients
A study has recently revealed that cells from newborns’ umbilical cords could provide a lifesaving treatment for heart failure patients.Updated: Sep 28, 2017 15:05 IST
A study has recently revealed that cells from newborns’ umbilical cords could provide a lifesaving treatment for heart failure patients.
Umbilical cord is a flexible cord-like structure containing blood vessels and attaching a human or other mammalian foetus to the placenta during gestation.
The new report from the American Heart Association observed heart failure patients who had cells from umbilical cords injected into their veins and they found that this increased the patients’ heart function and are hopefully the treatment can save lives of people with fatal heart failure diagnoses.
The experimental treatment proved safe, as no adverse side effects appeared as a result of the injections. Study author Dr Jorge Bartolucci said that the treatment could transform the way doctors think about heart failure treatments because current options for treating the fatal disease are complicated and ineffective.
“Standard drug-based regimens can be suboptimal in controlling heart failure, and patients often have to progress to more invasive therapies such as mechanical ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation,” Dr Bartolucci added. Experts are hopeful that the study could improve the lives of the 37 million people worldwide who live with heart failure, as the current standard treatments are invasive procedures and harsh medications that are hard on patients’ bodies.
The team observed 30 heart failure patients aged 18 to 75. The umbilical cords used for the study were from human placentas that had been carried full-term and the donors were deemed ‘healthy’. They injected some of the trial participants with cells derived from the umbilical cords, while others were injected with a placebo drug.
The findings indicated that the heart muscles of those who were injected with umbilical cord cells saw ‘significant’ improvement during the year following the trial. These patients’ hearts were better able to pump blood and they functioned at a higher level. The effects resulted in a higher quality of life for the patients who had received the cells, they added.
Additionally, no negative side effects were developed among these patients. The research appears in journal called Circulation Research.
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First Published: Sep 28, 2017 15:04 IST