Options Clinic for Heart and Vascular Diseases
Terribly ill patients with heart and blood vessel (vascular) conditions such as congestive heart failure, a recent heart attack, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and chronic angina have become the basis for a groundbreaking clinic at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics that will focus on the sickest of heart and vascular patients.
When conventional medical and surgical treatment options are exhausted, the UW Health Heart and Vascular Care "Options Clinic" in Madison, Wisconsin, is a place where patients with heart and vascular diseases can find hope in cutting-edge adult stem cell and gene therapy trials being run by researchers at UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
One goal behind the Options Clinic is to identify patients with advanced heart and vascular disease who may qualify for investigational clinical trials. This is for patients who have been informed by their doctors that there are few or no treatment options available to them.
Many patients with serious heart and vascular conditions can be successfully treated at UW Health through the use of advanced medications or devices such as stents, heart assist devices, or, in rarer cases, heart transplants. But there are those whose heart disease is simply too far advanced.
Clinical Trials for Advanced Disease
If they meet the study requirements, these patients can participate in clinical trials at the University of Wisconsin while being monitored and cared for by the nurse and research study coordinators who make up the Options Clinic staff.
In one current clinical trial, stem cells are injected into the legs of patients with severe PAD, a condition in which arteries in the legs become painfully constricted. If left untreated, PAD can lead to ulcers and amputations. Researchers are hoping that stem cells will cause the growth of new blood vessels, improving blood flow to the legs.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is actively involved and recruiting patients for several other trials as well through the Options Clinic, including one that involves the use of a protein growth factor to treat advanced heart disease and another that will use adult stem cells to try to re-grow heart tissue and improve heart pump function in patients who have suffered a major heart attack.
In addition to offering hope to patients, the Options Clinic is a new way for UW Health to offer patient-focused care for advanced cardiovascular disease from both a clinical treatment and scientific perspective.
Read Dr. Raval's Blog: Stem Cells, Heart Disease and Hope ... and the Little Engine That Could
Patients who feel they may benefit from the Options Clinic can contact Cathlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 262-2290.