Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
15 August 2014 07:56
The new therapy could help make hearts stronger
There is hope on offer to some heart patients following a pioneering gene therapy trial which could eventually replace heart transplants.
British scientists are trialling the therapy, which uses a corrective gene to help a person's heart beat more strongly, on patients from Harefield Hospital, London and Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.
Each of the patients has a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) keeping them alive while they await a transplant. Sixteen patients will be chosen at random and given the gene therapy, while eight others will be given a placebo.
The first patient to be recruited for the trial is Lee Adams, a carpenter from Hertfordshire.
He spoke of his hope for the gene therapy to prove to be a "miracle cure" for himself and the other participants.
The technique sees a harmless virus injected into the blood, which carries the gene into the heart muscles. This aims to boost the levels of a protein called SERCA2a which helps to control the contraction of the heart.
Heart failure is when the organ is too weak to pump blood efficiently around the body.
It can follow a heart attack, but can also be triggered by alcohol or drug abuse, viral infections or damaged heart valves. There can also be an inherited aspect. People with a history of heart conditions can arrange specialist pre-existing medical travel insurance for peace of mind when travelling abroad.
Professor Sian Harding stressed that it is important to remember the therapy is not correcting any defective gene, but can help people no matter whether their heart failure was caused by lifestyle, environment or genetic predisposition.
03 December 2016
Thousands of Britons could be heading off on snow-sports holidays without appropriate travel insurance cover, it has been warned.
01 December 2016
Pilots at German airline Lufthansa are on strike again after a two-day break in their campaign of walkouts.
02 December 2016
Britons are among the top spenders in Europe when it comes to holidays, new research has found.
30 November 2016
The UK should think about resuming flights to the popular tourism resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to a major United Nations agency.
29 November 2016
Plans are in place to develop a new aviation arrangement between the UK and US, to ensure holidaymakers can still fly between the two countries once Britain departs the EU.
26 November 2016
Hundreds of Lufthansa flights have been grounded after pilots working for the airline took part in a strike.
25 November 2016
The US is warning its citizens that Europe is facing a "heightened risk of terror attacks" at Christmas markets and other seasonal holiday events.
24 November 2016
A groundbreaking radiotherapy machine that can track the changing position of tumours in real time will soon be used to treat cancer patients in the UK.
23 November 2016
Top airline bosses are urging the government to scrap air passenger duty ahead of Wednesday's Autumn Statement.
22 November 2016
Winter sun is now the most popular holiday type, according to new research conducted by travel experts.
19 November 2016
A holiday price increase of 10% on trips to Europe could cause tourists to postpone their getaways next year, experts are warning.
18 November 2016
British citizens will no longer be able to travel freely to Europe without paying a "travel tax" or filling in visa forms under plans unveiled by Brussels.