For the first time, the non-cell based therapeutic application of human embryonic stem cells proves that the secretion from stem cells minimized heart injury. It can minimized heart injury by enhancing reperfusion therapy and reducing tissue death by another 60%.
By demonstrating the efficacy of this secretion in an experimental pig model, the researchers say that they have addressed the longstanding problem of reperfusion injury in the most clinically relevant experimental setting. This new method carries negligible risk of tumour formation or rejection by the body.The findings are especially important as they show that the new method can overcome the unwanted side effects of reperfusion, currently the best therapeutic option available to heart attack patients. Reperfusion is the restoration of blood flow to the oxygen-deprived heart after a heart attack.
This discovery is all the more significant because the therapy for reperfusion injury remains an unmet need despite three decades of huge resource investment, thousands of research papers and hundreds of experimental protocols. This preclinical study had come amidst an international call to improve the translation of preclinical experimental therapies for reperfusion injury to clinical applications.
The research has been carried out by the scientists from the Singapore’s Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) and The Netherlands’ University Medical Center Utrecht. The research is published in the journal Stem Cell Research.