Doctor of Internal Medicine
Cells that cure peripheral arterial diseases: the goal is zero amputations
Limb amputation not due to trauma is still not infrequent in the ageing population. Paradoxically, this age bracket turns out to be the most fragile, so much so that not more than a third can actively ambulate with a lower limb prosthetic.
The disease that is the most frequent cause of it is diabetes, which is characterized by vasculopathy with occlusion of peripheral blood vessels that is so spread as to make revascularization difficult both by endovascular means and surgical peripheral bypass. There is a part of patients for which revascularization fails or the disease characteristics make it impossible: the so-called non-revascularizable limbs.
For these patients a therapy has been developed with totipotent stem cells that can stimulate, by means of growth factors, the development of new vessels to make up for the chronical occlusion of peripheral arteries with new collateral circuits.
Clinical experience, though still in the beginning, seems to show in the near future new possibilities of healing or prevention for millions of patients with peripheral arterial diseases and, in particular, for those with the complications of diabetes, a disease with an epidemiological prevalence of 5% in Europe and 25% in the Middle East.
Chairmen: Claudio Borghi and Andrea Stella.