Stem Cell Resource Center
The science of stem cell therapy for treatment of cardiac disease has been the focus of intense research for over a decade. While our understanding of stem cell biology and the physiology of tissue healing has significantly advanced, studies have only recently revealed results applicable to clinicians. While initial studies focused on the cell's ability to differentiate into new, viable "replacement" cells, newer research has uncovered significant effects on tissue healing through the mechanisms of angiogenesis and reduction of inflammation through paracrine compounds. These effects were primarly manifest by symptom reduction and improvements in exercise capacity and measures of left ventricular function, including improved MVO2, ejection fraction, and ventricular remodeling.
Currently, several large studies are underway using adult stem cells derived from bone marrow, adipose tissue and the heart itself. These studies are particularly aimed at how adult stem cells can be used to treat acute and chronic ischemic cardiac conditions, as well as non-ischemic cardiomyopathies.
As we are enter an era when genetic and molecular biological research is yielding new and exciting options for patients with heart disease, it is increasingly important that practicing clinicians remain up to date about how their patients may benefit. To further this objective, the AJC Stem Cell Resource Center provides a central summary of pertinent research and clinical studies about the science of stem cell treatment of heart disease.