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Thread: Controversy over cardiac stem cells could sink “heart failure cure”

  1. #1

    Default Controversy over cardiac stem cells could sink “heart failure cure”

    While naysayers are so busy warning patients about the risks of offshore clinics, unproven treatments, etc., they are often silent when it comes to fraud and misconduct in research. The paper mentioned here was published in 2012. Were there no questions raised in 2012 by researchers in the field? Not according to this article. Apparently, many were inspired just because a group published a paper in a scientific journal.

    Do we experience the same support as patients? Absolutely not! Patients are repeatedly warned of the risks, treated as imbeciles or small children and dismissed as having experienced the placebo effect if improvements are gained. The doctors who treat patients are either quacks or in it for the money. Patients are told they should get into approved clinical trials and not seek treatment at "unapproved" clinics.

    Apparently, though it is perfectly acceptable to have patients treated in clinical trials inspired by a published paper. A lot of money has also been spent and now researchers are quibbling about whether or not a major clinical trial underway should continue or be stopped. Where is the data from the other clinical trials? How different is this from the Stamina controversy? Seems to me that there isn't that much difference at all.

    Make sure to read the next post below this one on how heart stem cells orchestrate regeneration. Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing...........

    by Michael Cook | 10 May 2014

    More controversy over the therapeutic potential of stem cells. This week Nature published a study which was highly sceptical of using cardiac stem cells to regenerate heart tissue. Only two years ago, this experimental treatment was heralded as a revolutionary breakthrough and as a “heart failure cure” in the media after a paper by a group led by Dr Piero Anvera was published to great fanfare in The Lancet.

    However, the technique’s reputation has declined steeply. “There’s been a tidal wave in the last few weeks of rising skepticism,” says Eduardo Marban, director of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and an author of the paper in Nature.

    In April the journal Circulation retracted a 2012 paper by Dr Anvera because of compromised data. A couple of days later, The Lancet issued “an expression of concern” about its much-cited paper. Its lead author was also Dr Anversa.

    “This notice of concern, coupled with the recent retraction, is extremely troubling because of the large number of clinical trials inspired by reports from this group, the many desperate patients potentially affected, and the large amount of federal and private money that has been diverted from other areas of promising research to pursue these ideas,” Professor Jonathan Epstein, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, told the Boston Globe.

    Because a clinical trial using cardiac stem cells is currently under way, some researchers want to stop the trial. Others insist that they should press ahead.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


  2. #2

    Default How heart stem cells orchestrate regeneration

    So who should we believe?

    Medical News Today
    Friday 9 May 2014

    Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute - whose previous research showed that cardiac stem cell therapy reduces scarring and regenerates healthy tissue after a heart attack in humans - have identified components of those stem cells responsible for the beneficial effects.

    In a series of laboratory and lab animal studies, Heart Institute researchers found that exosomes, tiny membrane-enclosed "bubbles" involved in cell-to-cell communication, convey messages that reduce cell death, promote growth of new heart muscle cells and encourage the development of healthy blood vessels.

    "Exosomes were first described in the mid-1980s, but we only now are beginning to appreciate their potential as therapeutic agents. We have found that exosomes and the cargo they contain are crucial mediators of stem cell-based heart regeneration, and we believe this might lead to an even more refined therapy using the 'active ingredient' instead of the entire stem cell," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and a pioneer in developing investigational cardiac stem cell treatments.

    "The concept of exosome therapy is interesting because it could potentially shift our strategy from living-cell transplantation to the use of a non-living agent," he added. "Stem cells must be carefully preserved to keep them alive and functioning until the time of transplant, and there are some risks involved in cell transplantation. In contrast, exosome therapy may be safer and simpler and based on a product with a longer shelf life."

    In lab experiments, the researchers isolated exosomes from specialized human cardiac stem cells and found that exosomes alone had the same beneficial effects as stem cells. Exosomes also produced the same post-heart attack benefits in mice, decreasing scar size, increasing healthy heart tissue and reducing levels of chemicals that lead to inflammation. Even when exosomes were injected in mice after heart attack scars were well-established, and traditionally viewed as "irreversible," they brought about multiple structural and functional benefits.

    Exosomes transport small pieces of genetic material, called microRNAs, that enable cells to communicate with neighboring cells to change their behavior. The researchers pinpointed one such microRNA - one that is especially plentiful in cardiac stem cell exosomes - as responsible for some of the benefits. It is likely, they believe, that this and other microRNAs in the exosomes work together to produce the regenerative effects.

    "The exosomes appear to contain the signaling information needed to regenerate healthy heart tissue, they are naturally able to permeate cells, and they have a coating that protects their payloads from degradation as they shuttle from cell to cell," said Marbán, senior author of an article in Stem Cell Reports. "Injecting exosomes derived from specialized cardiac stem cells may be an attractive alternative to the transplantation of living cells."

    Marbán and his clinical and research teams in 2009 performed the first procedure in which a heart attack patient's heart tissue was used to grow specialized stem cells that were injected back into the heart. In 2012, they reported results of a clinical trial that found significant reduction in the size of heart attack-caused scars in patients who underwent the experimental stem cell procedure, compared to others who did not.

    They also published findings from an animal study showing that the effect of stem cell therapy following heart attack is indirect - the stem cells themselves do not survive long after being placed in the heart, but they cause enduring effects by stimulating the rapid growth of surviving heart tissue and attracting stem cells already in the heart, which mature into functional heart cells.

    The new study sheds light on the underlying mechanisms, crediting stem cell exosomes and the communications cargo they carry for orchestrating regeneration to repair heart attack damage.

    The process to grow cardiac-derived stem cells was developed earlier by Marbán when he was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. The university has filed for a patent on that intellectual property and has licensed it to Capricor Inc., a biotechnology company in which Marbán is a founder and equity holder. Cedars-Sinai has filed for a patent for the exosome discovery and has licensed it to Capricor. The company provided no funding for this study.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


  3. #3


    "Curiouser and curiouser."

  4. #4


    Notice this quote from the researcher in the first ever large scale adult stem cell trial in the UK for heart attack. This is what patient activists have been saying!

    Can stem cells heal broken hearts?

    The biggest ever stem cell trial involving heart attack patients has got under way in London. The study, which will involve 3,000 patients in 11 European countries, should show whether the treatment can cut death rates and repair damaged tissue after a heart attack.
    John Martin, professor of cardiovascular medicine at University College London and adjunct professor of medicine at Yale, said: "This trial does not have the backing of the pharmaceutical industry as there is no money in it for them. You can't patent a patient's own cells.

    "So not only could this treatment save lives it could also save the NHS money."

    To read entire article

  5. #5


    Thank you, SJ!!!! No profit for pharma; that explains it all!

  6. #6


    Ahh yes, the smoking gun.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


  7. #7


    Regenerative Medicine kills repeat business and drug dependencies!!!

  8. #8


    There is truly scandalous behavior going on in when it comes to Big Pharma and the giant propaganda machine that spews out misinformation to the public. Let's not forget that others play a significant role as well in not wanting cures for diseases such as heart disease. Keep in mind it's the number one killer. Those that profit from Big Pharma's well being include researchers, academia, physicians, FDA, media, shareholders, charitable organizations, politicians, pharmacies, health insurance companies and countless others.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


  9. #9


    I concur completely!!!

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