Umbilical cord stem cells can treat heart failure
Heart failure or the heart muscle's inability to pump blood efficiently affects approximately 37 million people worldwide. Nearly half of the patients diagnosed with heart failure die within five years of the diagnosis. While there is plenty of research on heart failure and its treatments, a promising new study may contribute significantly to heart muscle function.
In the trial, 30 patients between the ages of 18 to 75 diagnosed with stable heart failure received intravenous infusions of umbilical cord-derived stem cells. Stem cell infusion was also derived from the umbilical cords intravenously. The results suggest that the IV-infused umbilical cord-derived from stem cells helps improve the heart’s ability to pump blood without any adverse effects. The new heart failure treatment showed sustained improvement of the heart muscle function and quality of life. The study’s corresponding author Fernando Figueroa, M.D., professor of medicine at the Universidad de los Andes in Chile said, "We are encouraged by our findings because they could pave the way to a non-invasive, promising new therapy for a group of patients who face grim odds."
There has been plenty of research on the potential of bone marrow-derived stem cells as treatment. Although umbilical cord-derived stem cells have never been evaluated, they provide greater potential because of the easy accessibility and availability. While larger studies will have to be conducted to assess the scope of potential benefits and risks, if any, these findings provide a promising option for heart failure treatment.
Jorge Bartolucci M.D.
Safety and Efficacy of the Intravenous Infusion of Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients With Heart Failure: A Phase 1/2 Randomized Controlled Trial (RIMECARD Trial).
Circulation Research, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.310712
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