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Friday 28th October 2016

Heart patient's cell transfer

8th November 2006

27042006_operating_room.jpgA man who survived six heart attacks has undergone a cell transplant as part of an experimental procedure.

Doctors injected immature muscle cells from the leg into the scarred heart tissue in the hope of repairing the damage. Now Ron Jackson will need to wait months to see if the experimental cell transfer has worked.

The 59-year-old underwent the operation at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital.

The special cells harvested from the muscle were sent to Belgium where they
were cultured. Now the main risk is that the leg muscle tissue could alter the heart's rhythm.

Consultant cardiologist Tony Gershlick explained they had taken immature cells from outside the muscle bundle, which would carry out any repair work in the case of muscle injury.

A further four patients are now expected to undergo the procedure at Glenfield Hospital along with several others at London St Mary's.

The procedure is carried out while the patient's heart is still beating. Cells are injected into the damaged area using ultrasound and x-ray to guide a fine tube to the damaged heart muscle.

The research team in Leicester said the cells will not necessarily grow into heart muscle tissue, but they hoped it would act like it, curing symptoms like breathlessness which is caused by a damaged heart.

Cell transfer research is also being done in other European countries including Poland, Holland, Spain, Belgium and Germany as part of an international trial.

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