St. Louis Researchers Test Heart Failure Treatment

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Researchers at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital are testing a new way to treat heart failure patients.

The drug trial is called Stop-HF, or “Stop Heart Failure.”

“It uses a unique drug that is injected directly into the heart cells by using a small screw-in catheter going directly into the heart,” researcher and interventional cardiologist Dr. John Lasala explains. “The drug is taken up residence by the heart cells and makes them secrete a protein which attracts stem cells.”

Those stem cells could then potentially work as an internal repair system to fix the damaged tissue and trigger new blood vessel growth.

“So it’s done with one single series of injections, taking all of a half-hour or 45 minutes to do,” Lasala adds. “The patient can go home the next day.”

Volunteers are still needed for the study.

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