Researchers and physicians at the top-ranked Texas Heart Institute in Houston are conducting a clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of combination adult stem cell injections in patients with heart disease. Previous studies have shown that adult stem cells have an excellent safety profile in people with cardiovascular disease, but this is the first time a combination of two types of stem cells is being used.
Heart Disease in the United States
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in America. In fact, one in every four deaths is attributed to conditions of the heart. An estimated 6 million Americans suffer from heart failure. The condition is associated with a survival rate of only 50 percent within five years of diagnosis.
Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Failure
Certain types of stem cells have been shown to repair damage to heart tissue. For patients with heart failure, physicians hope to find treatments that can generate new heart muscle and allow the organ to function near normally.
Dr. Emerson Perin, the director of the Stem Cell Center at Texas Heart Institute, explains that mesenchymal stem cells and c-kit+ stem cells are known to improve the functioning of damaged heart tissue. However, the use of these cells in combination has not yet been investigated. The hope is that the combination therapy will have superior outcomes to the single cell therapies and provide an effective treatment for this devastating condition.
The CONCERT-HF trial is recruiting participants to evaluate the benefits and risks of combination c-kit+ cardiac stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells to regenerate heart muscle in patients with heart failure. The trial is being conducted by the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Institute.
Heart function will be assessed in study participants who are divided into four groups:
- Patients treated with autologous mesenchymal stem cells
- Patients treated with autologous cardiac stem cells
- Patients treated with combination autologous mesenchymal and cardiac stem cells
- Patients treated with a placebo
The study began enrolling patients at the end of 2016 and approximately 144 participants are expected to be recruited in a timeframe of two years.