Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Heart journal publishes success with adult stem cells

More good news from the quiet achiever of the stem cell world, the humble ASC.

Here, a rigorously structured human clinical trial in a leading journal shows safety and efficacy with adult stem cells (ASCs) after heart attack – improving objective measures like cardiac output and demonstrating repair of heart muscle in those treated with ASCs versus placebo.

Chuckle… Anybody interested in a trial using those tumorigenic ESCs? Even precious ones derived from a clone of yourself? No? Good decision: it is lot safer to suck a few ASCs out of your blood or marrow and use them – and hey, you have 'done no harm' in the process.

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Dose-Escalation Study of Intravenous Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (Prochymal) After Acute Myocardial Infarction

Joshua M. Hare, MD*,* et al. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2009; 54:2277-2286, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2009.06.055


``This is a pretty big deal. Echocardiograms showed improved heart function, particularly in those patients with large amounts of cardiac damage,'' said Hare, who also is director of the UM Medical School's Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute. ``They also had improvements in lung function.''


Patients who received the stem cells were compared to similar patients who received placebo injections. Both were followed by MRI and echocardiogram. After six months, treated patients:

• Were four times as likely to have improved overall condition.

• Were able to pump more blood with each heartbeat than untreated patients.

• Had only one-quarter as many dangerous heart arrhythmias.

• Suffered no toxicity or other serious adverse side effects.