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Treadmill Training, Not Cell Therapy, Aids Walking in PAD: PROPEL

Injections of investigational granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) progenitor cells did not help patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) walk further in the 6-minute-walk test, in a new trial. However, supervised treadmill training, the control therapy, did result in a moderate, clinically meaningful improvement in walking.

These findings of the Progenitor Cell Release Plus Exercise to Improve Functional Performance in PAD (PROPEL) trial were presented at the American Heart Association 2017 Scientific Sessions and the study was simultaneously published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These results confirm the benefits of exercise but do not support using GM-CSF to treat walking impairment in patients with PAD.

  1. McDermott MM, Ferrucci L, Tian L,et al. Effect of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor with or without supervised exercise on walking performance in patients with peripheral artery disease. The PROPEL randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2017; DOI:10.1001/jama.2017.17437.