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May 10, 2018

Children’s Hospital Colorado, Mayo Clinic Collaborate on Congenital Heart Defect

By centerforregmedmc

Mayo Clinic’s Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Children’s Hospital Colorado are collaborating to provide solutions for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare and complex form of congenital heart disease in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.

Regenerative medicine strategies for HLHS have the potential to provide an alternative to heart transplantation. Using stem cells of different types and from various sources — including cells from the patient's own body — regenerative therapies for HLHS could replace, rejuvenate or regenerate defective tissues, leaving new, healthy tissues in their place.

“We are thrilled that Children’s Hospital Colorado has joined the hypoplastic left heart syndrome consortium because it brings the research to more patients who may have otherwise had to travel in order to participate,” says Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director, Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. “It means that individuals with HLHS [hypoplastic left heart syndrome] now have more options at their fingertips while the consortium members are coming together to accelerate finding new and better solutions for these patients.”

“We’ve already taken advantage of this exciting new opportunity,” says James Jaggers, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and co-medical director of the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Just last week, we had a mother deliver her baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and we collected cord blood and sent it to Mayo Clinic. When we perform the next heart surgery on this baby in three to four months, we’ll be ready to inject the baby’s own stem cells into the heart muscle, which, hopefully, will help make it even stronger.”

This announcement brings the total number of hypoplastic left heart syndrome consortium members to five: Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Minnesota, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. The bicoastal collaboration is expanding the development of cell-based, innovative research opportunities to transform the lives of people living with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The consortium aligns regional centers into a nationwide collaboration led by the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome at Mayo Clinic to accelerate innovation on hypoplastic left heart syndrome, discovery sciences and clinical expertise by investing local resources back into research.

To learn more, visit the Mayo Clinic’s Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome website or read the news release announcing the collaboration.

Tags: Center for Regenerative Medicine, clinical trials, Congenital Heart Disease, Dr. Timothy Nelson, HLHS, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Mayo Clinic, Medical Research, News, regenerative medicine, Research

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