Date of release: Friday 27th November, 2015
A potentially ground-breaking stem cell treatment has been provided to a heart attack patient at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) as part of a major European clinical trial... the first person outside London to take part in the study.
More than 3,000 patients in 11 European countries will take part in the research, which investigates whether the treatment can improve survival rates by repairing damaged heart tissue after a heart attack.
All patients taking part in the trial will have had a major heart attack treated with the emergency placement of a coronary stent to open a blocked coronary artery. Following this, half the patients in the trial have stem cells taken from their bone marrow these stem cells are then re- injected into their heart.
Earlier studies have suggested an improvement in heart function with this type of treatment, but this trial is the first that is large enough to see whether the therapy increases survival, with the hope that there will be a 25 per cent improvement.
RWT is one of a handful of hospitals in the UK to be taking part in the trial. Professor James Cotton, who leads the study at RWT, said the first patient to receive stem cells outside London had been treated at the Trust last week.
The consultant cardiologist said the man has gone home and is doing well.
Professor Cotton said: "Wolverhampton has one of the country's leading heart attack centres and is a renowned centre for clinical research. This is a novel trial in that it is using stem cells to potentially repair heart tissue. We are now actively seeking more patients who will be put into the trial over the next year. If it's proved that this procedure does work, by repairing damaged heart tissue after a heart attack, then it would be a hugely exciting breakthrough."
The trial is funded by a £5M grant from the European Commission and is therefore independent of the pharmaceutical industry.
If it is a success, it is anticipated the treatments could save the NHS significant amounts of money.
For further information please contact Sarah Glover, R&D Directorate Manager, tel. 01902 694430.
Note: RWT is a leading UK contributor to major research initiatives. In April 2014 it became one of 15 Trusts across the UK selected to host a prestigious National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network.