Heroes Needed to Take Part in Clinical Trials

Posted Date: 12/26/2012

Dr. Safwan Kassas says Saginaw is much more of a medical hub than many realize. “Groundbreaking things are happening in Saginaw all the time that people don’t even realize.”

Part of that ground-breaking medical work includes clinical trials.

In the mid 1990s, the MCVI Research Department at Covenant HealthCare was formed. This department facilitates the last step of clinical trials before medical advances are available to the public.

Katie Mostek, RN, CCRC is the Director of Research and Regenerative Medicine for the department. According to Mostek, the treatments and advances that come through the department are already proved and tested. Once a study reaches her department, it is usually only a short time before the product will be available on the market (about 5 years).

As Mostek states, “Every drug and piece of medical equipment we use is because a hero donated their time and commitment to a clinical trial. Things that we often take for granted, like aspirin, were made possible by people who were willing to be participants.”

Currently, the department is seeking participants for a clinical trial to help close wounds and improve circulation in limbs through regenerative medicine.

Dr. Kassas is an Interventional Cardiologist and Director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Program. This study focuses on removing cells from a patient’s bone marrow, essentially multiplying those cells, and then injecting them back into the patient’s body. The concept is that by doing so, patients who receive the injections will experience improved circulation to close wounds. “While this is not a cure, the regeneration creates additional healthy cells,” says Dr. Kassas.

Anyone interested in participating, who is between the ages of 35 and 90 years and has an issue with poor circulation in their limbs or has been diagnosed with Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), is encouraged to call 989.583.6372 for more information.

The MCVI Research Department at Covenant HealthCare is also seeking participants with chronic chest pain or congestive heart failure in addition to those with poor circulation in their limbs. According to Mostek, the Department typically has about 15 studies taking place at one time.

“The important thing is that we get as many people as possible, from all walks of life, involved in clinical trials. In many instances research finds one product works better for a certain ethnicity over another. It is important to get a diverse group of people involved in order to make advances for everyone.”

For further listings of clinical trials, visit www.MIcardiacstem.com