by Ion Gireada on 3 October 2014 Read more at http://www.helpmeoutdoc.com/news/medical-technology/simple-injection-likely-replacing-heart-transplant-2771.html#rbgRHV355u3q2jAg.99
Heart transplants and other cardiac surgery may have a strong competitor in a simple injection after successful tests on patients depending on a heart pump, a new study reports. Patients will receive a key enzyme responsible for heart muscle pump blood, following results of innovative gene therapy.
The technique was tested successfully on animals and on human hearts in vitro, and it is applied on patients with minor heart failure. Researchers from Imperial College London will test it at Harefiled Hospital on patients with advanced heart failure.
Celladon, a US biotech company, developed the replacement gene Mydicar, which may help approximately thousands of patients a year. If completely successful, it may make heart transplant and heart pumps a thing of the past, benefiting some three million people in US and Britain who suffer from the heart disease.
Professor Peter Weissber, medical director for the British Heart Foundation, said: “Heart failure devastates the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.” Weissber continued: “This cutting edge trial offers genuine hope of an effective treatment in the near future.”
The therapy involves injecting a benign virus carrying DNA copies of SERCA2a, the enzyme helping heart muscles contract as it recycles calcium.
The study involved 24 patients, fitted with mechanical pumps, but only 16 will get the gene. Six months later, biopsies of their heart muscles will be performed to measure the spread of the gene and evaluate how well it works.