Bone marrow stem cells improve heart function, study finds

March 26, 2012

A research network led by a Mayo Clinic physician found that stem cells derived from heart failure patients' own bone marrow and injected into their hearts improved the function of the left ventricle, the heart's pumping chamber. Researchers also found that certain types of the stem cells were associated with the largest improvement and warrant further study.

The results were presented today at the 2012 American College of Cardiology Meeting in Chicago. They will also be published online in the .

This Phase II clinical trial, designed to test this strategy to improve cardiac function, is an extension of earlier efforts in Brazil in which a smaller number of patients received fewer stem cells. For this new network study, 92 patients received a placebo or 100 million stem cells derived from the bone marrow in their hips in a one-time injection. This was the first study in humans to deliver that many bone marrow stem cells.

"We found that the did not have a significant impact on the original end points that we chose, which involved reversibility of a lack of blood supply to the heart, the volume of the of the heart at the end of a contraction, and derived through a ," says Robert Simari, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He is chairman of the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN), the network of five academic centers and associated satellite sites that conducted the study. The CCTRN is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which also funded the study.

"But interestingly, we did find that the very simple measure of ejection fraction was improved in the group that received the cells compared to the by 2.7 percent," Dr. Simari says. Ejection fraction is the percentage of blood pumped out of the left ventricle during each contraction.

Study Emerson Perin, M.D., Ph.D., and James Willerson, M.D., of the Texas Heart Institute, explain that even though 2.7 percent does not seem like a large number, it is statistically significant and means an improvement in heart function for chronic who have no other options.

"This was a pretty sick population," Dr. Perin says. "They had already had heart attacks, undergone bypass surgery, and had stents placed. However, they weren't at the level of needing a heart transplant yet. In some patients, particularly those who were younger or whose bone marrows were enriched in certain stem cell populations, had even greater improvements in their ejection fractions."

The average age of study participants was 63. The researchers found that patients younger than 62 improved more. Their improved by 4.7 percent. The researchers looked at the makeup of these patients' stem cells from a supply stored at a biorepository established by the CCTRN. They found these patients had more CD34+ and CD133+ type of stem cells in their mixture.

"This tells us that the approach we used to deliver the stems cells was safe," Dr. Simari says. "It also suggests new directions for the next series of clinical trials, including the type of patients, endpoints to study and types of cells to deliver."

Explore further: Cell therapy using patient's own bone marrow may present option for heart disease

Related Stories

Cell therapy using patient's own bone marrow may present option for heart disease

March 24, 2012
Cell therapy may present an option for patients with ischemic heart disease to use their own bone marrow cells to repair the damaged areas of their hearts, and may pave the way for future treatment options, according to the ...

Study examines treatment of heart failure with bone marrow cells

March 24, 2012
Use of a patient's bone marrow cells for treating chronic ischemic heart failure did not result in improvement on most measures of heart function, according to a study appearing in JAMA. The study is being published early ...

First U.S. patient enrolled in stem cell transplantation/cardiac bypass study aimed at improving heart failure

May 12, 2011
A 59-year-old Houston man became the first individual in the United States to enroll in a study using stem cell transplantation during cardiac bypass to treat severe heart failure.

Recommended for you

'Shapeshifter' that regulates blood clotting is visually captured for the first time

August 23, 2017
We are normally born with a highly sophisticated array of molecules that act as "sentries," constantly scanning our bodies for injuries such as cuts and bruises. One such molecular sentry, known as von Willebrand factor (VWF), ...

Dramatic new studies into inflammation in the infarcted heart could lead to changes in therapy

August 23, 2017
A medical research collaborative has demonstrated that the response of the human heart to an infarction is very different than previously thought. The study, led by cardiologist Borja Ibáñez and published as two independent ...

New molecule may hold the key to triggering the regeneration and repair of damaged heart cells

August 21, 2017
New research has discovered a potential means to trigger damaged heart cells to self-heal. The discovery could lead to groundbreaking forms of treatment for heart diseases. For the first time, researchers have identified ...

Researchers investigate the potential of spider silk protein for engineering artificial heart

August 18, 2017
Ever more people are suffering from cardiac insufficiency, despite significant advances in preventing and minimising damage to the heart. The main cause of reduced cardiac functionality lies in the irreversible loss of cardiac ...

Lasers used to detect risk of heart attack and stroke

August 18, 2017
Patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes may be spotted earlier thanks to a diagnosis tool that uses near-infrared light to identify high-risk arterial plaques, according to research carried out at WMG, University of ...

Cholesterol crystals are sure sign a heart attack may loom

August 17, 2017
A new Michigan State University study on 240 emergency room patients shows just how much of a role a person's cholesterol plays, when in a crystallized state, during a heart attack.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.