Physicians Prepare to Conduct World’s First Cardiac Adult Stem Cell Trial


February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009 - University of Louisville doctors at Jewish Hospital will conduct the world's first phase one FDA-approved clinical trial using adult cardiac stem cells to treat heart disease.

Patients with advanced heart disease who already are undergoing bypass surgery will be recruited for participation in the clinical trial, which uses adult stem cells taken from the patient's own cardiac tissue. During surgery, a small piece of tissue that is routinely removed during the bypass procedure will be frozen and sent to colleagues at Harvard University to extract and remove the adult cardiac stem cells.

After a three to four month recovery period, the cells will be directly injected into the patient’s cardiac scar tissue using a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure. Patients will be evaluated over the course of at least a year for heart function and blood flow and their hearts’ overall size and the size of the scar tissue will be measured.

"Our hope is that the cardiac stem cells will help the heart tissue regenerate, reducing the size of the patient's scar tissue and improving heart function," said study leader Roberto Bolli, M.D., Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute Distinguished Chair in Cardiology.

In addition to Dr. Bolli, chief of the division of cardiology and director of UofL's Institute for Molecular Cardiology, other clinical trial collaborators include Piero Anversa, M.D. of Harvard University and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston and Mark Slaughter, M.D., chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery at UofL.

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