Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute affiliated with the University of South Florida debuted a new gene therapy that may enhance the body’s stem cell response after injuries that cause heart failure, such as heart attacks.
Heart failure typically occurs when the muscles of the heart are weakened and cannot sufficiently pump blood throughout the body. The new break-through therapy uses regenerative medicine to treat the disease by directly injecting a fragment of DNA into the heart. The procedure uses an investigational device that looks like a screw that is literally screwed into the inside lining of the heart in 15 different sites. Each time it is screwed in, it injections a plasma that starts a process that promotes the regeneration of heart tissue by encouraging the body to deploy more stem cells to the injury site.
The process is well mapped out before and during the procedure using leading-edge technology. It has been well-studied in labs and was administered to the first two patients in February at Florida Hospital. The trial spans 10 sites across the United States.
Targeted therapies such as these have the potential to reduce injury and restore heart function in many heart failure patients.
"It’s totally different than anything we’ve ever done before," says Dr. Charles Lambert, medical director at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute
. "So far, we’ve had good luck with this device."
The two patients are doing well and have shown no complications. They are being followed for the long-term to see how they perform in cardio and functional tests.
The STOP-HF trial study, which will enroll 90 patients nationwide, is the first of several similar trials involving the USF Heart Institute
and the adjacent Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dr. Charles Lambert, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute