Regenerative Medicine/Cardiac Cell Therapy: Adult/Somatic Progenitor Cells
Preclinical data suggested that somatic stem or progenitor cells derived induce and/or support endogenous repair mechanisms of the myocardium. Such cell populations were clearly shown to promote neovascularization in postischemic tissue, and some evidence also indicated transdifferentiation into cardiomyocytes. In the clinical setting, however, many attempts to regenerate damaged myocardium with a variety of autologous and allogeneic somatic progenitors have failed to generate the expected therapeutic efficacy. Currently, efforts are being made to select specific cellular subpopulations, modify somatic cells to augment their regenerative capacity, improve delivery methods, and develop markers selection of potentially responding patients. Cardiac surgical groups have pioneered and continue to advance the field of cellular therapies. While the initial excitement has subsided, the field has evolved into one of the pillars of surgical research and benefits from novel methods such as cellular reprogramming, genetic modification, and pluripotent stem cell technology. This review highlights developments and controversies in somatic cardiac cell therapy and provides a comprehensive overview of completed and ongoing clinical trials.