Professor Noel Caplice, University College Cork, has shown in a trial, the first example of how a low dose insulin-like growth factor, injected into the heart to repair damage to the muscle, improves remodeling for heart attack patients.
Around 20% of people who suffer heart attacks have severe ongoing difficulties due to lasting damage to heart muscle even after current therapy, patients may still develop long-term heart failure, associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
In this trial patients received two different low dose preparations of insulin-like growth factor or placebo in a randomised double blinded clinical trial, with results showing those who received the higher dose had improved remodeling of their heart muscle in the two-month follow-up after their heart attack.
If future larger trials are successful, the growth factor could be applied more widely to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of any patient who has suffered a severe heart attack, and also be financially beneficial to the health service by reducing ongoing care costs.
“Results like these are a perfect illustration of why the HRB has invested so much in building Ireland’s capacity to conduct clinical trials; so that our brilliant researchers, like Professor Caplice, can conduct research that will improve the outcomes for patients. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in this ground-breaking project, which could have a profound global impact”.
The research has been recognised and peer-reviewed by the European Society of Cardiology and the trial was presented initially at the Heart Failure 2017 conference in Paris this April.