Nabil Dib, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.C.
Director of Cardiovascular Research
Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers
As with most of life’s troubles, the problem starts small. A tiny bit of fatty material settles in on the walls of a major artery. Over several years, more and more of this plaque collects, until there is little to no room left for blood to flow freely. Without the blood and the life-giving oxygen it brings, the heart seizes — and the muscle begins to die.
This scenario is the leading cause of death for both women and men. Approximately 1.2 million heart attacks occur in the U.S. every year, and more than 12 million people in the nation are suffering from some form of heart disease.
Efforts to reduce the occurrence of heart attacks through prevention are vital and remain our first priority. Clinical trials are currently underway at two Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospitals to determine whether adult stem cells can effectively improve cardiac health.
Using highly accurate 3D images of the heart, Dr. Nabil Dib and his team of interventional cardiologists at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers are delivering adult stem cells directly into damaged heart tissue via a catheter. The goal of their series of clinical trial, is to determine if the adult stem cells will develop into new blood vessels that will prevent further damage to the heart.
Other treatments being conducted at the hospitals’ Cardiovascular Research Center are testing whether adult stem cells can re-convert scar tissue into live muscle, and whether specific genetic indicators can detect the early stages of heart disease.
“We’re researching whether these new treatments might help those who have exhausted all other options,” Dib says. “The aim of studies such as this is to see if adult stem cells will assist with cardiac regeneration and help repair damaged heart tissue. Cardiac regeneration is about trying to see if you can repair damaged heart tissue and hopefully provide people with a better quality of life.”
By integrating compassionate care with state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge clinical research, CHW is providing innovative treatments to those in need, and advancing the science of care worldwide.