More evidence for the utility of early stage stem cell therapies of the sort that have been available overseas through medical tourism for a number of years, and which would also be available in the US if not for the FDA: "16 patients with severe heart failure received a purified batch of cardiac stem cells. Within a year, their heart function markedly improved. The heart's pumping ability can be quantified through the "Left Ventricle Ejection Fraction," a measure of how much blood the heart pumps with each contraction. A patient with an LVEF of less than 40% is considered to suffer severe heart failure. When the study began, Bolli's patients had an average LVEF of 30.3%. Four months after receiving stem cells, it was 38.5%. Among seven patients who were followed for a full year, it improved to an astounding 42.5%. A control group of seven patients, given nothing but standard maintenance medications, showed no improvement at all. ... We were surprised by the magnitude of improvement. ... [Elsewhere] 17 patients [were] given stem cells approximately six weeks after suffering a moderate to major heart attack. All had lost enough tissue to put them 'at big risk' of future heart failure ... The results were striking. Not only did scar tissue retreat - shrinking [between] 30% and 47% - [but] the patients actually generated new heart tissue. On average, the stem cell recipients grew the equivalent of 600 million new heart cells .... By way of perspective, a major heart attack might kill off a billion cells. ... the heart contains a type of stem cell that can develop into either heart muscle or blood vessel components - in essence, whatever the heart requires at a particular point in time. The problem for patients [is] that there simply aren't enough of these repair cells waiting around. The experimental treatments involve removing stem cells through a biopsy, and making millions of copies in a laboratory."