PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of heart attacks and death in the world. Plaque builds up in the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart. Now, a new experimental treatment could help improve blood flow to the heart and even repair it after a heart attack.
Debbie Minch is thankful for each day.
"Grace is what's carried me through this," Minch told Ivanhoe.
Ten years ago, at just 49, the choir singer and her husband were told she would need a quadruple bypass.
"Now we are at the point where my heart is severely damaged and nothing is really helping," Minch said.
Doctors said a heart transplant was her only option, but she'll soon find out if she'll be accepted into a new trial that could use her own stem cells to help repair the once thought irreversible damage, "or even create new blood vessels within areas of the heart that have been damaged," Jon George, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, Temple University School of Medicine, told Ivanhoe.
First, stem cells are taken from a patient's bone marrow. Then using a special catheter and 3D mapping tool, the cells are injected directly into the damaged tissue.
"We have results from animal data that show blood vessels regrow in the patients that actually get stem cell therapy," Dr. George said.
It's a possible answer to Debbie's prayers.
Temple University Hospital is currently pre-screening patients for the trial. For more information, call 215-707-5340.
Copyright Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.