November 6, 2009 – Tom Wilemon of the Memphis Daily News reports that Baptist Memorial Health Care-Memphis has begun its first clinical study involving a stem cell treatment for heart attacks.
Dr. Frank A. McGrew III at Stern Cardiovascular Center PA is identifying patients who meet the criteria for the study and then assessing the effectiveness of the therapy in healing scarred cardiac tissue. The study is the first in the Mid-South to incorporate stem cells for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, McGrew said.
"This is just one of many different ways we’re trying to improve heart muscle function once it has been stressed by an artery blockage or a heart attack," McGrew said. Baptist is one of 41 hospitals throughout the United States taking part in a Phase II clinical study of Prochymal, a product derived from adult bone marrow and patented to Osiris Therapeutic, Inc. The study will involve 220 patients nationwide who have suffered their first heart attack. They will be injected with donated stem cells from young adults within seven days of their heart attack, and their progress will be assessed regularly for the next two years