Stem cells in the management of heart failure: what have we learned from clinical trials?

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Research shows that various types of stem cells (SCs) have the ability to rebuild damaged heart tissue. The TIME and Late TIME human trials shed light on the optimum timing of SC therapy administration after myocardial damage. The FOCUS study failed to show a substantial positive effect of bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells in patients suffering from ischemic heart failure; however, some completed human trials do show promise, with improvement in cardiac function. Recent clinical trials have identified a subset of marrow cells that was able to stimulate endogenous adult cardiac SCs where cardiac SCs administration showed promise in the SCIPIO trial. This review addresses some of the lessons learned from clinical trials with SC therapy in ischemic heart failure.

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