Progenitor Cells May Counter Chemotherapy Damage

-- Jane Parry

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to prevent cardiomyopathy caused by chemotherapy by obtaining cardiac progenitor cells before initiating treatment and using them for prevention or management of heart failure, according to the findings of a study in rats published online Dec. 28 in Circulation.

Antonella De Angelis, Ph.D., of the Second Naples Medical School in Italy, and colleagues conducted a study in rats administered with doxorubicin which led to dilated myopathy, heart failure and death. The researchers exposed cardiac progenitor cells to doxorubicin to see if changes to these cells mediated the effects of the anthracycline on heart tissue.

Doxorubin led to increases in DNA damage, telomere attrition and apoptosis in cardiac progenitor cells, but it also resulted in a number of molecular adaptations, including activation of pathways that repaired damaged DNA and preserved the primitive state, cell divisions and lineage differentiation, the researchers found.

"To strengthen the possibility that targeted therapies for cancer patients may be implemented in a manner that maximizes their anti-tumor effects without creating another equally devastating disease such as chronic heart failure, we have successfully documented that immunocompatible cardiac progenitor cells may be used to repopulate the cardiomyopathic heart with new cardiomyocytes and coronary vessels," the authors write.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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