Revolutionary solution to reclogged coronary arteries found in Technion

The most exciting aspect of the process is that it can be applied to "every known drug today."

By
September 5, 2006 02:40
2 minute read.
Revolutionary solution to reclogged coronary arteries found in Technion

heart monitor 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Biomedical engineering researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have suggested a revolutionary technique to prevent restenosis (reclogging) of coronary arteries after supportive metal-mesh stents have been inserted by angioplasty. Restenosis affects as many as 40 percent of patients who have undergone the procedure. The technique, whose award of a US patent was announced on Monday, can also be applied to "any drug" that works best in a specific site of the body, including anti-cancer medications, the researchers say. Angioplasty - a minimally invasive cardiological intervention in which a tiny deflated balloon is inserted into clogged arteries in the heart and inflated to open blockages and position a stent inside the weak arterial wall to keep it open - results in blockages in more than a third of patients. The cause is not new fatty plaques in the same spot of the arteries, as had been thought, but the growth of tissue in the endothelium of the vessel. Doctors regards this as a "tumor" that has to be treated with medication to prevent uncontrolled growth of the tissue. But anti-tumor drugs cannot be taken systemically to affect the whole body, because the growth is local. Stent manufacturers insert the drug into the stent, and this inhibiting chemical is supposed to be released slowly over six months, when the risk of restenosis is greatest. But the problem is that control of this release process is not exact enough for it to prevent regrowth of tissue in all cases. In the new technique - developed by Prof. Noah Lotan, Dr. Sarit Sivan and Prof. Uri Dinnar - the patient swallows a completely neutral "pre-drug" amino acid that causes no side effects and can be taken as long as needed. This amino acid activates a specific enzyme in a special stent, serving as a "factory" for the anti-clogging drug as long as the amino acid is consumed. The amino acid is a natural component of every protein and is contained in soya and milk products, among others, thus it can be safely consumed. The patient stops taking the amino acid six months after angioplasty, when there is no longer a risk of uncontrolled tissue growth inside the artery. The most exciting aspect of the process, on which the Technion researchers have been working for two and a half years, is that it can be applied to "every known drug today and be useful for medications that are best administered locally, in one part of the body." One example is cancer drugs, Lotan told The Jerusalem Post Monday. "We have developed a technological platform with wide applications, as a pre-medication can be swallowed and a coordinated enzyme can be used for each application," he said. Lotan said the patented process was so new that no company had yet signed an agreement to pursue it. "It would take several years until it became available for patients, and no clinical trials have been launched," he said. "We are looking for commercial interests and would, of course, like it to be an Israeli company if possible."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM