This Little Piggy Has a Good Heart! Gene Therapy Restores Damaged Myocardium in Pigs.

Dear Colleagues:

Exciting News was published in Nature at the end of May! In a world first, researchers from King’s College, London announced a new therapy that can induce myocardial cells to regenerate! As nurses, we know that despite stenting and refined coronary artery bypass graft (CABG ) procedures, myocardial infarction is the top cause of heart failure, a condition that now affects over 23 million people around the world (World Health Organization, 2018) Heart attack survivors are left with permanent structural damage via the formation of a myocardial scar, which can lead to heart failure. Stem cell research has not proved promising in this arena. Drs Sun Hun Lee & Dong Hum Lee injected the scarred myocardium of pigs who had suffered heart attacks with microRNA-199 which codes for the ETV2 gene. ETV2 is the gene responsible for the production of a protein involved in hematopoesis and vascular growth. The protein did it’s work: within one month, the pig’s myocardium was restored to near – perfect function!

The authors concluded:
“We provide compelling evidence that ETV2 has a robust effect on vascular regeneration and enhanced cardiac repair after myocardial infarction, highlighting a potential therapeutic function of ETV2 as an efficient means to treat failing heart muscle.”

Imagine the implications for our patients!

Mahalo for all you do!

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