Cellular therapies will change the landscape of treatment options for heart disease patients, making them economical for all classes of society, says eminent Indian American Heart Surgeon Dr Mukesh Hariawala.
Presiding over as Chairman of the Cardiac Surgery session at the recently concluded World Congress of Cardiology- 2012 in Dubai, Dr Hariawala said that the current therapeutic options available to patients are Angioplasty, Stents and Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery which are palliative procedures with limited success in terms of long-term symptom free survival.
These patients unfortunately have recurrent chest pain, heart attacks after a few years and thus have to undergo repeat high risk Interventional procedures, he said.
Dr Hariawala presented his award-winning Angiogenesis research work done at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals in Boston. The results demonstrated in basic science and clinical trials by several multi-institutional investigators are published in scientific journals and are often described as the benchmark for all evolving cellular therapies to treat heart disease.
Angiogenesis is the science of stimulating growth factors like VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) which is hibernating in the native heart, consequently opening up of dormant micro blood vessels in the diseased cardiac muscle. This reformed architecture of collateral blood vessels acts as natural bypasses around blockage sites, providing much needed oxygen-rich blood to distal zones. Thus it helps maintain functionality of the heart and sustained improvement in the quality of life for patients.
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Stem Cells withdrawn from the hip bone can also be directly injected during Open Heart Surgery in the innovative Hybrid Operating Room setting. The powerful Angiogenic Stimulation here is provided by low energy lasers, which is another combination approach to this new concept thus providing synergy to an array of treatment modalities.
Dr Hariawala optimistically cautioned that there was still a large subset of patients who clinically and diagnostically are unlikely to benefit by CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting) or Angioplasty/Stent procedures. This is due to the diffused nature of the disease which is often accompanied with diabetes predominantly in the Asian population. They now have the option of proven technologies like the FDA-approved EECP (Enhanced External Counter Pulsation) and Shockwave Cardiac Therapy delivered by MODULITH SLC device of Storz Medical which is fast gaining clinical acceptance worldwide. Both of these non-invasive technologies utilize the scientific fundamentals of Angiogenesis.