Heart broken?: Stem cell treatment could reduce deaths from heart failure


A study undertaken in America indicates that injecting adult stem cells into the heart could reduce the risk of death from a heart failure. This study was done among 126 heart patients across various hospitals in America. Of these, sixty patients received stem cells extracted from their bone marrow. These stem cells were directly injected into their hearts. The 66 others were given a placebo.

Among those who received the stem cells, 3.4% of the patients died and 51.7% were hospitalized in comparison to 13.7% and 82.4% in the placebo group. The researchers are hoping to start the phase 3 clinical trial involving more heart patients.

Dr Amit Patel, director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the University of Utah, said: ‘For the last 15 years everyone has been talking about cell therapy and what it can do. These results suggest that it really works.’

He said it works either because it ‘slows down or reverses the rate of progression of disease’.  Instead of increasing the number of muscle cells or blood vessels in the heart, it makes the existing cells work better.

This study is however considered only as a preliminary observation, as the number of patients studied is small. The study also only indicated the benefits in reducing events such as hospitalization and death and has not yet promised improvement of actual heart pump function. The third phase of the trial could possibly reveal greater benefits of the therapy.

Across the world, clinical trials are checking the possibilities of using umbilical cord tissue stem cells in the treatments of various lifestyle conditions. Read more about them here: http://babycord.lifecell.in/treatments-research



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