Results of a phase II clinical trial show that the outcomes of end-stage heart failure can be significantly improved using stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow.
Heart failure affects approximately 5 million people in the United States, with almost 500,000 new diagnoses each year. Despite advances in treatment to prevent or minimize cardiovascular disease, the restoration of function to a damaged heart remains a major challenge. Since the heart has limited regenerative capacity, transplants are often necessary for cases of end-stage heart failure. Stem cells have the ability to home to damaged tissue and enhance regeneration and remodeling of scar tissue. Thus, therapies using stem cells may potentially lead to more effective treatments for patients with end-stage heart disease.