Two Studies Reveal Possible Heart Attack Treatment with Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association assess the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment on heart attack patients. Taken together, these independent early-stage clinical trial results are mixed. The TIME trial, led by Robert Simari, MD, examined the effects of autologous mononuclear cells (MNCs) on 120 recent heart attack patients. Those patients who received the therapy showed no benefit either three or seven days after their cardiac incident. However, the POSEIDON trial, led by Alan Heldman, MD, which followed 30 patients who had a heart attack in the more distant past, demonstrated benefit at one year follow-up in both allogenic and autologous MSC dose groups. While both studies have limitations, some researchers are cautiously optimistic that MSCs could help patients with ischemia and related cardiac disease.