Study: Stem cells from donor bone marrow may help repair heart damage

November 03, 2015

According to Schaer, one reason the study results are so promising is that these stem cells can be used without tissue typing and do not trigger an immune response, and are available for every patient.

A unique benefit of the stem cell product is that it is given to patients through a standard intravenous (IV) line which is simple and easy for the patient compared to other therapies that require delivery to the site of the disease through catheterization or open surgical procedures,

Adult stem cells are designed by nature to perform tissue repair in a mature adult. It is believed that these cells can be used in patients unrelated to the donor, without rejection, eliminating the need for donor matching and recipient immune suppression. Once transplanted, the cells promote healing of damaged or diseased tissues.

"It is possible that in the future, hospitals might be able to keep frozen adult stem cells on hand for speedy use in treating heart attacks," said Schaer.

"This study suggests that adult bone marrow derived stem cells are more flexible than previously thought," said Schaer. "If the benefits and safety are confirmed in the oingoing Phase II trial, we may soon have a remarkable new therapy for patients with a large heart."

Rush is currently seeking participants for the second phase of the study. For more information about the study, please contact Amy Graf at (312) 942- 8144.

Source: Rush University Medical Center