We wouldn't post this individual success if it had taken place in some distant part of the world with researchers that aren't well known. It didn't. It took place at Duke University where some exceptional work has been done with cord and other blood related stem cells. Here is the story as reported by television news in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Ronald Davis can move again after seven long years. Plaque clogged the artery carrying blood to his leg, which cut off oxygen flow. It's called Peripheral Artery Disease. Left alone, it can cause ulcers, gangrene and even lead to amputation.
Ronald began a last-ditch stem cell therapy at Duke University. His leg was marked for 30 injections, totaling millions of stem cells. For him, there was no other choice.
Cells are taken from the placentas of Israeli women who've given birth. Once injected, they secrete proteins, which boost additional cell growth. Then, it's believed those cells may contribute to the growth of additional vessels around the plaque, circumventing the blockage.
Three days after injections, Ronald was walking, and doctors say the oxygen level in his leg tissue jumped from 43 percent to 67 percent. This specific type of stem-cell therapy is currently involved in a phase-one clinical trial. P-A-D affects up to 20-percent of people over the age of 65.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. When a person develops PAD, his extremities -- usually the legs -- don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking.
Stem cells are found in all multicellular organisms. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cell types.
A recent research study determined the safety and possible effectiveness of various doses of stem cells. Investigators tested to see if the injection of stem cells would help in creating new collaterals and provide the vital conduit for blood flow to the parts of the leg below the block in patients with PAD (peripheral artery disease). The cells, which were taken from pregnant women's placentas, were delivered with a needle into regions of the leg with claudication. The study, known as Autologous CD34+ Stem Cell Injection for Severe Intermittent Claudication, showed 39 out of 44 patients (approximately 89 percent) with severe PAD who were treated with stem cells had their legs saved from amputation.