Gene Therapy for ‘Closed Heart Surgery’ May Reverse Heart Failure

October 7, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new study has shown great potential for the use of gene therapy to treat patients with heart failure that could someday lead to “closed heart surgery,” as the treatment of choice for heart ailments. The failing hearts treated with the gene therapy reversed course and began to properly contract.

The groundbreaking study was conducted by researchers from the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota. The research team treated failing rabbit and human hearts with a gene that produces a protein that triggers heart cells to contract normally.

Another group of hearts were treated with a protein gene that is the cause of failing hearts to contract normally. Both genes were administered using a modified adenovirus.

The hearts receiving the protein that triggers normal contraction benefited from the gene therapy, by showing improvement in contraction. But the hearts receiving the failing heart protein were unaffected.

Lead researcher Todd J. Herron, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan sees great potential for the use of gene therapy to treat patients with failing hearts.

“The advent of molecular motor-based gene transfer for the failing heart will hopefully improve cardiac function and quality of life for heart failure patients,” said Herron.

Heart failure is one of the world’s most deadliest diseases, killing more than 287,000 people in the United States alone, each year. The deadly condition is caused by coronary artery disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Gene therapy could completely transform treatments for heart failure, which have the potential to permanently heal the damaged heart.

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal that published the study, envisions a better quality of life for future heart patients.

“Helping hearts heal themselves, rather than prescribing yet another drug to sustain a failing organ, would be a major advance for doctors and patients alike,” said Dr. Weissmann.

The gene therapy study can be found online in the FASEB Journal.

Source


Comments

2 Responses to “Gene Therapy for ‘Closed Heart Surgery’ May Reverse Heart Failure”

  1. Old Man Dotes on October 7th, 2009 11:17 am

    “Another group of hearts were treated with a protein gene that is the cause of failing hearts to contract normally”

    What? Either that’s a typo, or it’s nonsense.

  2. Sue on October 7th, 2009 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the comment OMD, I agree it’s a bit awkwardly worded, but nevertheless, the study was conducted on failed human and rabbit “hearts,” or more accurately, groups of failed heart muscle cells.

    And the study shows great promise for the actual reversal of heart failure in humans, using targeted gene therapies.

    Sue

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.