Health and fitness briefs

Health and fitness briefs for July 31, 2012
by Ken Raymond Published: July 31, 2012
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HEART

Research could lead to new treatment

Liposuction isn't just about vanity anymore.

According to the American Heart Association: “Adult stem cells extracted during liposuction can be used to grow healthy new small-diameter blood vessels for use in heart bypass surgery and other procedures. … Millions of cardiovascular disease patients are in need of small-diameter vessel grafts for procedures requiring blood to be routed around blocked arteries.”

The vessels can be grown in a lab, addressing “major problems associated with grafting blood vessels from elsewhere in the body or from using artificial blood vessels that are not living tissue,” according to a heart association news release.

Grafted and artificial vessels can clot, be rejected or fail to function properly. Using the new method, the release states, “adult stem cells derived from fat are turned into smooth muscle cells in the laboratory and then ‘seeded' onto a very thin collagen membrane.” As the cells multiply, researchers roll them into tubes the diameter of blood vessels; within a few weeks, they have replacement vessels.

The lead author of the study is Matthias Nollert, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering in Norman.

Nollert and his colleagues hope to test the vessels in animals within six months.

The research was presented at the heart association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2012 Scientific Sessions.

CANCER

Spanish-language support group

The Integris Hispanic Initiative hosts a cancer support group for female Spanish speakers.

“Luzca Bien … Sientase Mejor,” or “Look Good … Feel Better,” was created to help female cancer patients look their best and improve their self-esteem. The better patients feel about themselves, the better they're able to manage cancer treatment and recovery.

The group is open to all Spanish speaking women with cancer who are getting chemotherapy, radiation or other forms of treatment.

The group will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 13 in the basement level of the Integris Southwest Medical Center Medical Office Building, 4200 S Douglas Ave.

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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