First Generation Adult Stem Cell Heart Therapies

For the past couple of years, various modes of first generation adult stem cell therapy for heart disease have been trialed - mostly outside the US prior to 2004, thanks to the heavy, unaccountable, keep-my-own-job-safe hand of the FDA. These are comparatively simple therapies; forms of transplant using either donor stem cells, usually from bone marrow, or cultured stem cells from the patient to avoid immune rejection. An update on one of the latest trials:

Two patients have already been enrolled at Hopkins in a Phase I clinical trial, which is designed to test the safety of injecting adult stem cells at varying doses in patients who have recently suffered a heart attack. In total, 48 patients will participate in this study, which is happening at several sites across the country. Results are not expected until mid-2006.


The researchers are using a special kind of stem cell in an early stage of development, called adult mesenchymal stem cells, to avoid potential problems with immunosuppression, in which every human's immune system might attack stem cells from sources other than itself.

This trial uses cells from sources other than the patient, and performed very well in animal studies. If regulatory matters and commercialization proceed at the normal pace for the US medical system, some form of effective stem cell therapy for heart disease should be a widely available option by 2010.


While effective stem cell therapy for heart disease may not be available in the U.S. until 2010. It is certainly available now outside of it. Two hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand are currently offering stem cell therapy for heart disease patients. Seven American patients have been treated in Thailand in 2005. For example, Jeannine Lewis (see link) was treated in Bangkok by Amit Patel of the University of Pittsburgh.

Paul Talbot

Posted by: Paul at July 26th, 2005 8:00 PM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.