New Hope On The Horizon For Patients With End-Stage Cardiovascular Disease

LOS ANGELES (August 3, 1998) -- Two experimental protocols are now available at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for patients who have undergone multiple angioplasties or bypass procedures for coronary artery disease. Both procedures are non-surgical and show promise of improving quality of life for patients with end-stage cardiovascular disease. "The preliminary data are very encouraging," says P.K. Shah, M.D., Director of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai.

Percutaneous Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (PTMR)
According to Dr. Shah, Cedars-Sinai is one of only a few sites in the nation to offer Percutaneous Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (PTMR). Using this procedure, cardiologists insert a laser catheter into the heart, creating multiple channels from the inside of the heart, out. These channels improve blood flow to heart muscles and stimulate growth of new blood vessels. To date, four patients have undergone PTMR at Cedars-Sinai. Norman Lepor, M.D., is the Principal Investigator on this study.

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapy (VEGF)
The second experimental protocol is Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Therapy. VEGF is a genetically engineered compound that is normally produced in small amounts by the body and stimulates blood vessel growth. In this procedure, it is injected directly into the coronary artery to further stimulate blood vessel growth. The initial injection is followed by a series of three intravenous infusions -- one every three days. These subsequent infusions are done on an outpatient basis and take about four hours each. To date, two patients have been treated with VEFG Therapy at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Shah is the Principal Investigator on this study.

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Contact: Sandy Van or Roberta Nichols
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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