Monday, August 6, 2007

Adult stem cells better choice than death or transplant for heart failure patients

BANGKOK, Thailand, August 1, 2007 – Heart disease, according to the figures from The National Center for Health Statistics 2005 data, affects some 25.6 million Americans. It was then, and remains, the biggest killer of U.S. citizens, with over 650,000 dying every year. Until now as patients deteriorated and medication or surgery on their heart failed to help they were faced with only two options, a heart transplant or death.

Theravitae, an international biotechnology company based in Thailand, claim they can provide a realistic third option that offers new hope to heart failure patients – treatment with their own adult stem cells. Their patented therapy, VesCell, uses a mere half pint of the patient’s own blood which is sent to their laboratory where the therapeutic stem cells are multiplied by millions and then injected directly or implanted by catheter into the damaged heart muscle or occluded heart blood vessels. Hundreds of their patients have attested to the fact that their lives have been improved and lengthened by this technique which is performed by cardiac specialists in world-class hospitals in Thailand.

Terry Areford from Morgantown, West Virginia is just one patient who was not told by his cardiologist that the option of adult stem cell therapy existed for him. More appalling than not being so advised, he was a patient at the prestigious teaching hospital attached to the University of West Virginia where he could reasonably have expected to receive the best and most advanced treatment options available to medical science. He believed that his imminent death was unavoidable because he did not want a transplant and after several heart attacks, six bypasses and more than half a dozen operations to insert stents he had only one small vessel left pumping blood to the front of his heart.

Daily living for Terry was characterized by pain and shortness of breath. He could not walk a hundred feet without tightness in his chest and at only 60 years of age felt that he would like to be around a little longer to enjoy his family and grandchildren. He was upset and felt that there ought to have been more that could be done to help him. Fortunately for him his daughter was internet savvy and searched until she found that there was, indeed, grounds for hope.

‘I think it’s a total shame that I cannot get the help I need at home. I found out that there is some research going on with adult stem cells in the U.S. but they are like five year trials. I couldn’t wait five years. There’s going to be a lot of people dead in five years and they wouldn’t have to be dead if they knew about adult stem cell therapy,’ he said.

‘I hope ten people read my story and go out and tell ten more people so that everybody comes to understand what this is all about. I was using my own body to help, or perhaps cure, my own body. There is no rejection factor and it took only a small incision in my chest wall and an injection of my own stem cells into the heart. Once implanted these cells do what they are programmed to do – revascularize to improve blood flow to my useless heart muscle. While my wife shopped and visited the temples and markets I lay back in a superb hospital with fantastic care to get well,’ he added.

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