Replacing Heart Pumps, Transplants with a Gene Injection?
the MPR take:
Could gene therapy make heart transplants and mechanical pumps obsolete in the future? An experimental gene therapy is currently undergoing testing at Imperial College London in which the SERCA2a gene is injected into a non-pathogenic recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) and transferred into cardiac muscle cells via a mechanical pump to restore SERCA2a enzyme levels and improve the heart’s ability to pump blood. The gene therapy-mechanical pump, known as Mydicar, is currently being tested in one patient and researchers anticipate a total of 24 study participants, including eight controls. The treatment does not correct the genetic defect and patients with antibodies to the AAV via previous exposure to the virus may not benefit from the therapy.
A simple injection that promises to replace heart transplants and other major cardiac surgery is being tested on humans with heart pumps for the first time. The pioneering gene therapy will provide patients with a key enzyme that helps heart muscles to pump blood. “The best treatment currently ...
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