Cells obtained from menstrual blood, termed 'endometrial regenerative cells' (ERCs) are capable of restoring blood flow in an animal model of advanced peripheral artery disease. A new study demonstrates that when circulation-blocked mice were treated with ERC injections, circulation and functionality were restored.
Critical limb ischemia, an advanced form of peripheral artery disease, causes approximately 150,000 amputations per year in the US. Currently there are no medical or surgical interventions that are effective in the advanced stages of the disease. ERCs are cells taken from menstrual blood that are capable of forming into at least 9 different tissue types, including heart, liver, and lung.
Dr. Michael Murphy (pictured), a vascular surgeon from Indiana University and lead author of this study, has already performed clinical trials with adult stem cells for patients with peripheral artery disease. He stated, "The advantage of ERCs is that they can be used in an 'off the shelf' manner, meaning they can be delivered to the point of care, do not require matching, and are easily injectable without the need for complex equipment."
Illustration: Indiana University.
Science Daily (08/19/08)
Abstract (Journal of Translational Medicine; 6(45) (08/19/08))