New Genes Are Here

(L-R) Prof. Ran Kornowski, Amos Ben Yosef, transplant recipient, and Dr. Schmuel Fuhs

Gene transfer to the heart is no longer a script for science fiction. Prof. Ran Kornowski, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Institute and Catheterzation Laboratories at Rabin Medical Center, conceived of the idea of gene transplantation seven years ago. After completing preliminary work, he and Dr. Shmuel Fuchs, a senior cardiologist, teamed up with researchers in the USA to develop this innovative technique in collaboration with GenVec and Biosense- Webster, a Johnson & Johnson company. Prof. Kornowski used a novel gene therapy approach to treat Amos Ben Yosef, a 68-year-old man, of the case of angina pectoris because Amos could no longer undergo any other surgical or catheterbased interventions. Two years of trials are now underway with the hope that the newly created blood cells will enhance blood flow to the heart and improve its function.

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