Heart Therapy with Stem Cells Shows Progress

Northwestern University researcher rebuilding weak hearts

Chicago Tribune’s Bruce Japsen reports on the results of an experimental stem cell treatment at Northwestern University to rebuild failing hearts. The clinical trial involves a group of patients with severe cardiac illness who received a stem cell treatment using their own purified stem cells. One year after treatment, the group receiving therapy continues to show reduced angina and improved activity levels.

Though still in early development stages, the stem cell research community is closely watching the work of Northwestern University researcher Dr. Douglas Losordo. The trial data, presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association scientific conference in Orlando, Fla., is also important in the study of heart disease.

The latest trial is considered the second of three phases needed before data can be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. Final, or Phase III, trials generally involve several hundred patients.