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New jab could treat heart disease

30th May 2007

A jab containing stem-cell inducing hormones could be used to significantly alleviate the conditions of heart disease, a study has shown.

Researchers at the at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, linked to the University of new South Wales, Australia, found that they were able to reduce the ailments of twenty heart disease sufferers using the injection.

The trial saw the patients injected with the hormone G-SCF to trigger the release of stem cells in the heart.

Also known as the body's 'master cells', such stem cells are capable of differentiating into all manner of specialised cells – including, potentially, blood vessel cells in the heart.

Once these new blood vessel cells in the heart grow into fully fledged blood vessels, this alleviates the conditions of heart disease – reducing pain and breathlessness.

Executive director of the Victor Chang Centre, professor Bob Graham said, according to the Daily Mail: "The 20 patients trialling the innovative treatment responded extremely positively.

"Most experienced a reduction in angina and found they were able to reduce their intake of pain relief with marked improvements in some patients," he added.

More research, including a placebo controlled experiment, is needed before the injection can be rolled out to everyday heart disease patients.