Discoveries Magazine


Heart Strong


Illustration: Chris Madden

An investigational stem cell therapy derived from patients’ own bone marrow significantly improved outcomes in people with severe heart failure, according to a study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

“This is an important step forward for heart patients in particular and for stem cell medicine in general,” says Timothy D. Henry, MD, director of the Cardiology Division at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, the Lee and Harold Kapelovitz Chair in Research Cardiology, and one of the study’s lead authors. He adds that stem cells could usher in a bright new era in treatments for heart failure.

“Our intent is to increase the number of functioning cells in the heart muscle, which, in turn, strengthen the heart and alleviate or slow the advance of severe heart failure,” Henry says.


patients enrolled in the Phase II study over a 12-month period. All were diagnosed with ischemic cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure that usually results from a heart attack or coronary artery disease.


patients received the stem cell therapy and showed a 37 percent lower rate of deaths, hospitalizations, and worsening symptoms compared to the 51 patients who received a placebo.


of those who received stem cells were hospitalized with cardiovascular issues during the study. In comparison, 49 percent of patients who received the placebo were hospitalized during the study.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cedars-Sinai. Cedars-Sinai does not endorse any product, service, or views posted here.

2 Responses

  1. David says:

    Is this discovery about Athersys?

    • Cassandra Tomlin says:

      David, this research was conducted by the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in partnership with the Vericel Corporation. The Heart Institute is also studying how stem cells can treat heart attack, with Athersys.

Leave a Comment