Wednesday, August 31, 2011

West Michigan hospital recruiting patients for adult stem cell trial

Spectrum Health will be testing a new treatment for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) using patients' own adult stem cells. The trial hopes to show that adult stem cells can help prevent amputations.
The procedure involves extracting blood cells from bone marrow and injecting them into the leg to increase the body’s ability to grow new blood vessels.

PAD affects about 8 million Americans – about one in 20 adults age 50 and older. Cholesterol and fat collect on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the limbs, reducing blood flow. The condition raises the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Most patients can be treated with lifestyle changes, medicine, endovascular and surgical procedures, said Dr. Christopher Chambers, a vascular surgeon with the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

“However, despite advanced techniques and technology, about 10 to 20 percent of people with severe PAD do not respond to these measures and are at risk for lower limb major amputation,” he said. “I’m hoping this new investigational technology will give these patients another option.”