Latest Phase 2 trial involving over a hundred patients have shown that treating heart disease with stem cells is very viable alternative to heart transplant and Phase 3 trial is planned.
Heart Disease Stem Cell Therapy
What is a Heart Disease
Heart Diseases / Heart Failure or Cardiovascular disease generally refers to any diseases related to the heart inclusive but not limited to narrowed or blocked blood vessels, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) and heart defects a person is born with (congenital heart disease). They are the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Many forms of heart disease have a common result – cardiomyopathy, which is basically the heart becoming less efficient due to any number of causes, with the most common the loss of functioning heart muscle due to the damage caused by a heart attack.
Current treatment available is centred around disease management and treating the symptoms, rather then the ability of repairing the heart itself.
Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Diseases
Stem Cell Therapy is a strong candidate to treat heart diseases as it has unparalleled capacity to regenerate and has the flexibility to grow into different type of cells. This makes it an ideal candidate to be coaxed into heart cells, blood vessel cells, supporting cells and regulatory signals. Current research and trials focuses on the different stem cells to be used such as muscle stem cells, bone marrow stem cells, cardiac stem cells and endothelial progenitor stem cells.
Mayo Clinic recently published an article titled “Regenerating Heart Tissue Through Stem Cell Therapy” detailing a successful stem cell therapy using bone marrow cells conducted on a 71 year old man who has suffered from a heart attack. 2 years after the therapy was conducted, the patient could actually walk again without becoming worn out. Mayo Clinic also has a Center Of Regenerative Medicine and has a division focusing on Cardiac Regeneration.
There are many ongoing efforts to understand how stem cell therapy is able to help people with heart diseases. One of the main centres is the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, where you can view the areas of research being conducted specifically to understand heart diseases.