Universität Rostock erhält Patent für biologischen Herz-Schrittmacher
Große Freude beim Team von Professor Robert David aus dem Department „Licht, Leben und Materie“ der Universität Rostock: Zwei Jahre nach dem Patentantrag erhält die Universität Rostock das ersehnte Patent in Deutschland für einen biologischen Herzschrittmacher mit naturgetreuen Herzschrittmacher-Stammzellen.
Bedeutet das, dass der 60 Jahre alte künstliche Schrittmacher womöglich ersetzt wird? Robert David, Professor für Regenerative Medizin in der Herzchirurgie der Universitätsmedizin Rostock, ist fest davon überzeugt. Aber wann das sein wird, dazu will sich der Forscher noch nicht festlegen. „Ein biologischer Herzschrittmacher, der dem natürlichen System des Menschen nahekommt, ist viel nachhaltiger“, betont der Entwicklungs-Biologe, der am Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungs-Biologie in Tübingen promovierte, in der Kardiologie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München habilitierte und für die Idee eines biologischen Herzschrittmachers brennt.
In Deutschland werden jährlich mehr als 100.000 elektronische Herzschrittmacher implantiert, die jedoch mit erheblichen Einschränkungen einhergehen: so kommt es zu Interferenzen mit anderen elektronischen Geräten, wie etwa bei MRT-Untersuchungen oder Flughafenkontrollen. Zudem bergen die Schrittmacher wie alle metallischen Implantate ein nicht unerhebliches Infektionsrisiko. Außerdem ist die Stromversorgung über Batteriebetrieb keine wirklich zufriedenstellende Lösung für die Patienten. Daher müssen jedes Jahr in Deutschland 16.000 Aggregatwechsel operativ vorgenommen werden.
„Wir haben eine Methode entwickelt, die es ermöglicht, einen hoch spezialisierten Herzmuskelzelltyp in hoher Reinheit aus Stammzellen herzustellen“, erklärt der Rostocker Forscher. Die wissenschaftliche Herausforderung: Die verwendeten Stammzellen müssen so beeinflusst werden, dass sie zu Schrittmacher-Zellen werden, die extrem selten sind. Wie das geht, erklärt Professor David so: „Wir stützen uns auf so genannte Zellprogrammierung in Kombination mit einem spezifischen Kulturprotokoll. Nur so erhalten wir reine Schrittmacherzellen“.
Dieses Verfahren ist von der Universität Rostock zum Patent angemeldet und bereits in Deutschland, Europa und Japan erteilt worden. Des Weiteren laufen gegenwärtig Anmeldungen für ein Patent in Kanada, USA, Indien, Korea und China. Während der coronabedingten Heimarbeit erreichte Professor David die Nachricht, dass auch die Anwendung dieser synthetisch hergestellten Schrittmacherzellen in Form eines biologischen Schrittmachers ebenfalls vom Deutschen Patent- und Markenamt zum Patent erteilt wird. Auch hier ist die Ausweitung des Schutzes auf den internationalen Markt durch die Universität Rostock geplant.
Von klinischen Studien mit einem biologischen Herzschrittmacher sind Professor David und sein Team aber noch weit entfernt. Aktuell geht es darum, ihren Ansatz mit Mäusen auf humane Schrittmacherzellen zu übertragen. Eine weitere Perspektive ist die Verwendung der Zellen zur Medikamententestung in der Kulturschale – das könnte eine deutliche Reduzierung von Tierversuchen ermöglichen. Neben der Verringerung des Leids dieser Tiere ist auch davon auszugehen, dass sich die Ergebnisse von Medikamententestungen – gewonnen mit menschlichen Zellen in der Kulturschale – so besser auf Patienten übertragen lassen. Auch für diese Anwendung der Schrittmacherzellen wurde der Universität Rostock mittlerweile in Deutschland ein Patent erteilt.
Bei der schutzrechtlichen Sicherung der Erfindungen steht die Universität Rostock Service GmbH (URSG) dem Erfinderteam rund um Professor David in allen Phasen des Patentierungsprozesses beratend zur Seite. Daneben unterstützt die URSG den Forscher aktiv bei der wirtschaftlichen Verwertung dieser Erfindungen und steht derzeit mit einigen Unternehmen zur Initiierung nachhaltiger Kooperationen in regem Kontakt. Auch die Gründung eines Start-ups wird intern diskutiert. Patentingenieur Lars Worm sagt dazu: „Die Erfindungen von Professor David und seinem Team besitzen enormes wirtschaftliches und gesellschaftliches Potenzial und zeigen einmal mehr, dass in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern patentrelevante Spitzenforschung betrieben wird.“ Text: Wolfgang Thiel
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Robert David
Telefon: + 49 381 498-8973
Genetic code for stem cell heart repair
A research team from Germany and Japan published in the LANCET journal EBioMedicine a new highly specific gene expression code controlling stem cell response for heart repair after infarction. Using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms they were able to detect specific variations in bone marrow stem cells by transcriptome deep sequencing of peripheral blood cells. In the studied patients with arteriosclerotic disease and heart failure they found advanced somatic mutations in blood associated with altered stem cell functions.
Arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction and heart failure are a prime cause of disease and death worldwide. The genetic cause of disease and mechanisms of repair by stem cells has not been unraveled so far. The new findings show that stem cell senescence by multiple acquired mutations cause defects in myocardial perfusion repair. This mechanism may be a major cause of progressive heart failure and cardiovascular disease. The clinical findings in the phase 3 PERFECT stem cell trial leading to strong improvement in heart function were validated in an independent patient group as well as in two mouse models clarifying the gene switch leading to improved heart repair by circulating stem and immune cells. „This novel diagnostic method can be used for prediction of heart repair, which could form an important milestone in stem cell therapy of heart failure“ was stated by Prof. Gustav Steinhoff, who coordinated the research team from 10 universities.
Markus Wolfien, MSc 1, Denise Klatt, PhD2, Amankeldi A. Salybekov, MD 3, Masaaki Ii, MD, PhD 4, Miki Komatsu-Horii, BS 5, Ralf Gaebel, PhD 6, Julia Philippou-Massier, PhD 7 , Eric Schrinner, 8, PERFECT trial and vascular regeneration investigators group 9, Helmut Blum, PhD 7, Prof Olaf Wolkenhauer, PhD 1, Prof Axel Schambach, MD, PhD2, Prof Takayuki Asahara, MD, PhD 3, Prof Gustav Steinhoff, MD 6 *. Hematopoietic stem-cell senescence and myocardial repair - Coronary artery disease genotype/phenotype analysis of post-MI myocardial regeneration response induced by CABG/CD133+ bone marrow hematopoietic stem cell treatment in RCT PERFECT Phase 3. EBioMedicine (online)
iRhythmics: Teilnahme an der 15. Nationalen Branchenkonferenz
Im Juni 2019, wie auch in vergangenen Jahren, fand die zweitägige Nationale Branchenkonferenz dieses Mal mit Norwegen als Partnerland in Rostock-Warnemünde statt. Es trafen sich verschiedenste Repräsentanten der Gesundheitswirtschaft, es fanden parallele Workshops und rege Diskussionen statt, und einige Teilnehmer präsentierten ihre Start-ups in der Ausstellung.
Den Forschungsverbund iRhythmics vertraten unsere Doktoranden Sophie Kussauer (Herzchirurgie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock) und Markus Wolfien (SBI, Universität Rostock) (siehe das erste Foto ). Nach der Vorstellung des gemeinsamen Projektes erläuterten beide den Alltag und die Wichtigkeit der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Biologen und Systembiologie/Bioinformatikern innerhalb des Konsortiums.
iRhythmics: Kick-off-Meeting des Forschungsverbundes
Am 22.03.2019 trafen sich die fünf Verbundpartner des iRhythmics Konsortiums zum gemeinsamen
Austausch aktueller Erreignisse, Entwicklungen und Vorgehensweisen während der Anfangsphase des
Das Kick-off- Meeting des Forschungsverbundes wurde vom Koordinator, Herrn Prof. Robert David, aus
dem Forschungsbreich der Klinik für Herzchirugie der Universitätsmedizin (UM) Rostock eröffnet,
gefolgt von Grußworten vom Rektor der Universität Rostock, Herrn Prof. Wolfgang Schareck, und ei-
ner Einführung zu den Aufgaben des Projektträgers Jülich, vorgestellt von Herrn Neudörfer.
Die Vormittagsrunde bestand aus den wissenschaftlichen Vorträgen der einzelnen Verbundpartner mit
anschließender kurzer Diskussion. Hier konnten wir einen Einblick in die einzelnen Arbeitspake- te
unserer junger Wissenschaftler, Herrn Dr. Heiko Lemcke und Frau M.Sc. Sophie Kussauer, gewin-
nen und erhielten einen Überblick über bereits erzielte Ergebnisse.
Herzzellen aus dem Labor sollen Tierversuche ersetzen
Osteezeitung vom 05.06.18
Gustav Steinhoff, Prof. M.D.; Julia Nesteruk, M.D.; Markus Wolfien; Guenther Kundt, Prof PhD; Jochen Boergermann, M.D.; Robert David, Prof PhD; Jens Garbade, Prof MD; Jana grosse, Prof PhD; Axel Haverich, Prof MD; Holger Hennig, PhD; Alexander Kaminski, M.D.; Joachim Lotz, Prof MD; Friedrich W Mohr, Prof MD; Paula Mueller; Robert Oostendorp, Prof PhD; Ulrike Ruch, PhD; Samir Sarikouch, Prof MD; Anna Skorska, PhD; Christof Stamm, Prof MD; Gudrun Tiedemann, PhD; Florian M Wagner, M.D.; Olaf Wolkenhauer, Prof PhD
CARDIAC FUNCTION IMPROVEMENT AND BONE MARROW RESPONSE
Outcome analysis of the randomized PERFECT phase III clinical trial of intramyocardial CD133+ application after myocardial infarction
HEART FUNCTION REPAIR IS DEPENDENT ON BONE MARROW RESPONSE
Rostock researchers unravel heart disease mechanism in bone marrow stem cells
Stem cell therapies for heart disease have failed so far, much to the high expectations of scientists, patients and society to get objective clinical proof for heart repair, despite abundant research proof in animal studies. The Rostock University cardiac surgeon, Prof. Gustav Steinhoff, and his research team, have now unraveled the cause of failure in bone marrow stem cell response and published their results in EBioMedicine. In the randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled phase 3 PERFECT-trial studying stem cell therapy in bypass patients, forty percent of all patients were identified as having a suppressed bone marrow response for repair related to the regulatory gene SH2B3. This results in a deficit of circulating stem cells and prevents new blood vessel growth in the heart muscle, required to avoid progressive heart failure.
This pilot trial was financed by the Ministry of Research and Education in Germany and the EU for the development of highly standardized stem cell therapies, and was performed between 2009 through March 2016 to assess clinical safety and efficacy of intramyocardial CD133+ bone marrow derived cell application and coronary bypass surgery. The multicentre trial included the six main German university heart centers Bad Oeynhausen, Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Rostock, the German stem cell isolation product specialist Miltenyi-Biotech GmbH, Bergisch-Gladbach, and scientists in Freiburg, Munich and Göttingen.
Professor Gustav Steinhoff is the principal investigator of the publication and has spent one year analyzing the data with a specialist team of university and biotech company researchers. "It was an enormous puzzle. After unblinding, the clinical results of the study did not at all reveal the expected results of the stem cell therapy. But there was a surprising overall improvement in all treated patients irrespective of stem cell therapy, leading to a 10% gain of heart pump function." said Gustav Steinhoff, who pioneered cardiac stem cell therapy with the first intramyocardial treatment in 2001, initiating the first Phase I trial in the field. "And then we discovered that 40% of the patients did not show improved heart function at all, whereas the 60% of reactive patients had a mean increase of 17% pump function and better long-term survival." The researchers succeeded in finding a diagnostic biomarker signature in the peripheral blood of patients by using an artificial intelligence machine learning computer analysis system, allowing pretreatment identification of patient responders for improved heart function. Using this new computer-aided diagnostic technology, responsive patients can be accurately identified prior to treatment with bypass surgery and stem cells.
Highlights of the study
Heart function improvement is dependent on circulating endothelial progenitor cells.
Suppression of bone marrow response is associated to SH2B3 gene expression
Peripheral blood angiogenesis response can be predicted by a biomarker signature
Dr. Ulrike Ruch,Reference and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy, University Rostock; email@example.com
Phone: +49-381 498 8974
Mobile:+49 179 39 39 344
The Reference and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy (RTC) was founded in 2008 on the initiative of Prof. Dr. Gustav Steinhoff, heart surgeon and scientist at the University Medical Center Rostock, as one of the five translation centers for regenerative medicine in Germany which are funded by both by the federal and the state government. The RTC is hosted by the Biomedical Research Center (BMFZ) Rostock.
At the RTC high-performance medicine is being conducted. With focus on cardiovascular diseases innovative approaches for stem cell therapies are being developed in labs applying most modern molecular- and cell biological investigation methods and evaluating them in animal models - frequently in cooperation with industry partners. Following the demonstration of safety and efficacy in the clinical study center of the RTC the new therapies are being integrated into the patient care activities of the Clinic for Heart Surgery. The concept of the RTC includes all translation steps in the scope of both development and manufacturing of stem cell products as well as treatment of patients in a standardized and quality-assured manner according to the legal requirements of “Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products”. Accordingly, the RTC takes the position as a reference centre.
Funding: German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) FKZ0312138A, EU ESF/IV-WM-B34-0011/08, ESF/IV-WM-B34-0030/10 and Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany
Price winners for funding of collaborative research
The SFB application "Mechanistic approaches towards cardiac regeneration" was honored with the prize for collaborative research at the 4th "Forschungsworkshop" of the University Medicine Rostock.
2011-05-12 – Press release
Observing molecules at the nano scale: new impulses with the super-resolution microscopy for the scientists at the University of Rostock
RTC Rostock is today receiving the first ELYRA PS.1 series microscope from Carl Zeiss in entire Europe.
Rostock. Scientists at the Reference- and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy at the University of Rostock (RTC) are now able to visualize molecules with a microscope system with a localization accuracy of up to 10 nm. This is achieved with a new product from Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH, the microscope ELYRA PS.1. Besides Osaka the RTC Rostock is going to be the first user worldwide of a series system based on this technology. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
„Our research deals with the efficacy, safety, and the further development of stem cell therapies against heart diseases. ELYRA will support our research “ Prof. Gustav Steinhoff, head of the RTC Rostock, explains. This microscope offers new interesting possibilities, especially for gene-technical and nano-technological approaches with stem cells. To improve the therapeutical efficacy or the survivability after transplantation the cells are genetically modified by using gene transfer systems. The gene transfer is currently conducted with a novel method whose mechanism has not been fully understood yet. Neither, it is known whether the modified cells are exposed to unexpected side effects.
With ELYRA PS.1, cell processes in live cells can now be observed and documented on a molecular level for the first time. Before that, it had been possible to image cellular structures with electron microscopy with a spatial resolution of up to 10 nanometers; however, living cells were destroyed in the course of the imaging procedure.
Combining two innovative technologies, SR-SIM und PALM, the ELYRA PS.1 is able to provide super-resolution which has not been available in the fluorescence microscopy technology until today. A doubling of the resolution of a conventional fluorescence microscopy has been achieved with the SR-SIM (Super-resolution Structured Illumination Microscopy) technology. The necessary labeling can be performed with all common fluorescent dyes. The PALM (Photoactivated Localization Microscopy) technology offers a localization accuracy of up to 10 nm using e.g. shiftable fluorescent proteins. The ELYRA PS.1 at the RTC Rostock combines the super-resolution technology with the LSM 780, which is the latest and most effective confocal Laser Scanning Microscope from Carl Zeiss.
From bone marrow, umbilical cord or adipose tissue: Not all stem cells are the same
Scientists from Rostock investigate the therapeutic potential of human stem cells derived from different tissues
Although stem cells from different sources show identical phenotypical features their therapeutic potential differs clearly from each other. Scientists from the University of Rostock were able to demonstrate for the first time that bone marrow-derived stem cells are most efficient for a stem cell therapy after myocardial infarction. In comparison, stem cells from umbilical cord blood are less conducive to the healing process. This study has recently been published in „PLoS one“ on 11st February.
The working group of the Reference- and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy at the University of Rostock (RTC) investigated mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). „This subset of adult stem cells can be found in human bone marrow, adipose tissue as well as in umbilical cord blood“ explains Ralf Gäbel, who is a Ph.D student and the first author of the published article in PloS one. „MSC are very interesting for autologous therapies, which means that a patient can be treated with his or her own stem cells“. Until now, MSC which have differentiated in a culture dish have not yet been tested in humans to treat heart diseases but only in mice. For the current clinical studies hematopoietic bone marrow-derived stem cells are being used.
The researchers from Rostock analysed the regeneration potential of human MSC to treat myocardial infarction in a mice model. With this study two questions were considered:
On the one hand, the different regeneration ability of the MSC from different tissues was investigated. On the other hand, the researchers were looking for features permitting to distinguish the MSC from the three different sources. Finally, their impact on the regeneration efficiency was tested. „Researchers from Mannheim already showed 2006 that umbilical cord blood-derived MSC produce less endoglin (CD105) compared to bone marrow- and adipose tissue-derived MSC“, Ralf Gäbel said.
„Endoglin is a key enzyme in biochemical signal pathways which induces angiogenesis and has an anti-apoptotic effect in diseased tissues“. In fact, the results of the comparative analysis in animals prove that umbilical cord blood-derived MSC are less therapeutically efficient compared to thoses from the two other sources. However, umbilical cord blood-derived MSC with high endoplin-expression show similar regeneration potential as bone marrow-derived MSC. The cell biologists from Rostock concluded that further in-depth studies are needed before stem cell therapies (and especially those involving umbilical cord blood-derived MSC) can be applied in humans.
At the Reference- and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy (RTC) at Rostock University novel treatment methods with stem cells for heart diseases are being investigated and applied. The overarching goal of these activities is to enable the long-term healing of the damaged heart on the basis of regenerative medicine. Currently, clinical stem cell studies are performed with hematopoietic stem cells at the University of Rostock. However, basic research conducted within the RTC also includes the further development of therapy possibilities, as well as the investigation of MSC.
The RTC Rostock was established in 2008 by the initiative of Professor Dr. Gustav Steinhoff, director of the Clinic and Policlinic for Cardiac Surgery of Rostock and the Research Laboratories of Cardiac Tissue and Organ Regeneration at Rostock University. It receives funding fom the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the Ministry for Economics of the federal state of Mecklenburg-East Pommerania, as well as in the frame of industry cooperations.
Cell origin of human mesenchymal stem cells determines a different healing performance in cardiac regeneration
Ralf Gaebel, Dario Furlani, Heiko Sorg, Bianca Polchow, Johannes Frank, Karen Bieback, Weiwei Wang, Christian Klopsch, Lee-Lee Ong, Wenzhong Li, Nan Ma, Gustav Steinhoff PLoS one, 11.2.2011
2011-02-14 – Press release
New textbook on Regenerative Medicine edited by Professor Gustav Steinhoff
“Regenerative Medicine – from protocol to patient” has been released by Springer in February 2011. This new textbook is edited by Gustav Steinhoff, professor of Cardiac Surgery at Rostock University. It provides an overview of the scientific knowledge and emerging technology on the field of regenerative medicine as well as the clinical application in different organ systems and diseases. International leading experts describe the latest scientific and clinical knowledge of the field of regenerative medicine. Additionally, the process of translating science “from bench to bedside” is explained in sections on basic science, clinical translation, regulatory, ethical and industrial issues. The textbook addresses to students, researchers, health care professionals, physicians, and patients, who are interested in an interdisciplinary survey of this promising field of science and medicine.
The Regenerative Medicine is a fast emerging field of research and clinical therapies on the repair, replacement or regeneration of cells, tissues or organs in congenital or acquired disease – and just starting to be the most fascinating and controversial medical development at the dawn of the 21st century. The editor, Prof. Steinhoff, is the head of the Reference and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapies at Rostock University and an internationally known pioneer of autologous stem cell therapies related to cardiac surgery.
Gustav Steinhoff (Editor): Regenerative Medicine – from protocol to patient
Springer Netherlands, 1032 pages, ISBN-13: 978-9048190744
2010-11-17 – Press release
Discovery of new cell involved in healing heart
Researchers at RTC explain the orchestration of neurohormore and immune cell - new therapeutic potential
Researchers at RTC have recently identified a new immune cell. The new immune cell, named CD8+AT2R+ T cell, mediates protective actions against inflammatory heart damage. The research, led by Dr. Jun Li, a group leader at RTC was published in The Journal of Immunology in the November 15th issue. The discovery of new T cell allows the researchers at RTC to further dissect the orchestration of neurohormone and immune cell and to open completely new avenues for future cell therapy in treating patients with inflammatory organ damage such as acute heart attack.
The neurohormone angiotensin II induces vasoconstriction and increased blood salt levels mainly via AT1 receptor (R); thus AT1R blockers are used clinically to treat high blood pressure and cardiac failure. Less is known about the functions of AT2R. In recent years, however, there has been growing evidence that increased levels of AT2R in the heart correlate with cardioprotection following acute myocardial infarction (MI). To better understand the role of AT2R, Dr. Jun Li and his colleagues discovered the CD8+AT2R+ T cells and studied their functional role following acute MI. Seven days after MI, the numbers of CD8+AT2R+ T cells were increased significantly in the hearts and spleens of MI rats, compared with sham-operated rats. Unlike CD8+AT2R- T cells, postinfarct CD8+AT2R+ T cells did not exhibit cytotoxicity toward cardiomyocytes in coculture and were instead found to secrete cardioprotective IL-10 in response to AT2R-mediated stimulation. In vivo treatment of rats with an AT2R agonist, compound 21, was found to increase the numbers of IL-10–expressing CD8+AT2R+ T cells in the infarcted myocardium relative to untreated rats. Furthermore, the transplantation of postinfarct splenic CD8+AT2R+ T cells into rats immediately following MI significantly reduced the infarct size, compared with rats that had received CD8+AT2R- T cells. As CD8+AT2R+ T cells were also found in healthy human donors, these results have important implications for AT2R-based clinical treatments of acute MI. The discovery of CD8+AT2R+ T cell allows the researchers at RTC to further define the orchestration of neurohormore and immune cell and to open completely new avenues for future cell therapy in treating patients with inflammatory organ damage including acute heart attack.
The article entitled “Identification of Noncytotoxic and IL-10–Producing CD8+AT2R+ T Cell Population in Response to Ischemic Heart Injury” can be found on The Journal of Immunology web site.
Curato C, Slavic S, Dong J, Skorska A, Altarche-Xifró W, Miteva K, Kaschina E, Thiel A, Imboden H, Wang J, Steckelings U, Steinhoff G, Unger T, Li J. Identification of non-cytotoxic and IL-10-producing CD8+AT2R+ T cell population in response to ischemic heart injury.
J Immunol. 2010;185:6286-6293
2010-02-15 – Press release
Stem cell homing: Rostock research in cardiac stem cell therapy awarded
The German Society for Thoracic, Cardiac and Vascular Surgery (DGTHG) honoured two young physicians from Rostock with prizes for their scientific work on stem cell homing: Dr. Christian Klopsch received the Science Award of the Ulrich-Karsten-Foundation for his work in which he examined, whether an injection of Erythropoetin (also known as doping substance EPO) might stimulate bone marrow stem cells to transmigrate into an infarcted heart. Dr. Peter Donndorf got the Young Investigator Award of the DGTHG for his doctoral thesis in which he dealt more basically with the question which enzymes and signal molecules might influence the migration of stem cells to an inflammatory changed tissue.
left to right: Dr. Gerhard Fempell (from Ulrich-Karsten Foundation), Dr. Peter Donndorf, Dr. Christian Klopsch
Foto: Thomas Merz (www.merz-foto.de)
The Science Award of the Ulrich-Karsten-Foundation is award every two years to young scientists who have already presented excellent scientific works in the area of cardiovascular diseases and will put further efforts in this specific field. The DGHTG Young Investigator Award rewards annually experimental and clinically relevant dissertations in the field of thorax, heart and vascular surgery. Both prizes were conferred yesterday during the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the DGHTG in Stuttgart.
In fact, autologous stem cells can help in cardiac recovery after myocardial infarction. Present clinical studies on this therapy use autologous stem cells taken from the patient's bone marrow, in most cases from the iliac crest. These stem cells are transplanted to the injured cardiac tissue, either directly by injection or via intravascular catheter technique. It would be more comfortable for the patients, if there was a possibility stimulating the bone marrow stem cells to migrate into the heart, when they are needed for regeneration processes. Dr. Christian Klopsch has shown in rats that after an injection of EPO an increasing number of stem cells can be determined in the infarcted heart. These stem cells might have caused a clear improvement of the heart function, besides the creation of new tissue observed inhere. Long term monitoring as well as analysis of different organs from the animals showed no indication of adverse side effects, e.g. thromboses.
Dr. Peter Donndorf observed by intravital microscopy the behaviour of bone marrow stem cells after injection in the vascular system of mice. Under different conditions he focussed on the enzyme eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase). He could show that this enzyme plays a special role in the interaction of stem cells with the cells of the vascular wall. It also has a determining influence on the successful migration of stem cells in inflammatory changed tissue.
Both physicians work at the Clinic for Cardiac Surgery at the University of Rostock. 26-year-old Christian Klopsch received his MD in January and is currently qualifying as a specialist. Peter Donndorf (28) already did his doctorate in 2009 and is resident at the Department of Cardiac Surgery. He also acts as an investigator in clinical studies. The director of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, Prof. Dr. Gustav Steinhoff, is proud of his young academics: “Last year one of our physicians already won the DGHTG Young Investigator Award. This demonstrates that Rostock is on top in Germany´s cardiac stem cell research.”
Prof. Dr. Gustav Steinhoff interviewed by “The Hindu” (Hyderabad, India)
On Feb 4th, Prof Steinhoff gave a lecture on cardiac stem cell therapy at the international fair BioAsia in Hyderabad (India). Journalists from the daily paper “The Hindu” wanted to know more about the Rostock experience on stem cell therapy: Read the complete interview here (pdf, 260 kb).
2009-10-29 – Press release
First Phase III trial on intramyocardial adult stem cell therapy starts in Germany
German heart centers in Rostock, Berlin and Hannover have commenced together with the biotech company Miltenyi-Biotec a randomized, double-blinded multicenter trial on the intramyocardial transplantation of CD133 purified autologous bone-marrow stem cells. The first patient has been treated successfully in Rostock and discharged from the hospital today was reported by Prof. Steinhoff, principal investigator of the clinical study. The study aiming at european medicinal product authorization will last two years and include 142 patients undergoing bypass surgery because of heart failure.
Prof. Dr. med. Gustav Steinhoff
Dirctor of the
Clinic and Policlinic for Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock
Phone +49 (0)381 - 4 94 61 00
2009-10-26 — Press release
New therapies for congenital heart diseases: Rostock scientist won European “young investigators award”
Prof. Erino Rendina (EACTS President), Ph.D. A. Pieter Kappetein (EACTS Sekretry General) and Dr. Can Yerebakan at the award ceremony
(left to right)
The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) awarded the heart surgeon Dr. Can Yerebakan the distinction for developing an animal model for researching new regenerative stem cell therapies with the goal of curing congenital diseases of the right heart ventricle. The EACTS is the largest association of cardiac and thoracic surgeons in Europe. The „young investigator's award“ for cardiac surgery is a prize for the best research project by a junior scientist and was awarded last week at the EACTS annual meeting in Vienna (Austria).
Dr. Yerebakan (32) is resident in the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Rostock in Rostock (Germany). Within the realm of his post-doctorate studies he works on improving therapies for the future treatment of congenital cardiac pathologies. An important step towards new therapies are animal experiments with specific animal models that mimic cardiac diseases. Dr. Yerebakan has developed a novel sheep model in order to study the short- and long-term transformation of activity in the right ventricle. He investigates different therapeutical approaches for widespread congenital heart defects including treatment with stem cells extracted from the umbilical cord.
Contact: Dr. med. Can Yerebakan
Clinic and Policlinic for Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock
Phone +49 (0)381 - 4 94 61 01
Prof. Dr. med. Gustav Steinhoff
Dirctor of the
Clinic and Policlinic for Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock
Phone +49 (0)381 - 4 94 61 00