Submitted by Companion Brian Ragain, RN, Area Coordinator
CMMRF Logo and Breast Cancer Ribbon
Dr. Michael Murphy is involved with research involving heart failure associated with anthracyclines, a chemotherapy drug derived from bacteria. Like any other medication, the benefits must outweigh the risks, but for some patients, there can be unforeseen and unwanted side effects. This drug is used to treat many different cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the breast, stomach, uterus, ovaries, lungs, and several other cancers. CMMRF is partnered with other researchers to find a treatment to reduce the heart failure that can occur in a small percentage of these patients.
In the study called the SENECA trial, we used stem cells and injected them around the area of the heart that was being damaged or had been damaged by the anthracycline treatments. This resulted in anthracycline- induced cardiomyopathy or medication induced heart disease. Almost every participant showed improvement in heart failure after a single procedure of one hundred million stem cells that were injected into the lower left side of the heart.
Imagine you or a loved one surviving cancer but with a decreased quality of life from the drug that was designed to save your life. We are working on the treatment to ensure a return of the quality of life that was present before the diagnosis of cancer. Phase I was a success. Phase II should be in the works. As with all medications and procedures, the risk must outweigh the reward. Stem cell treatments are showing promise and are paving the way into almost every aspect of modern medicine.