BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – About 5.8 million Americans have heart failure, which happens when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
Researchers now say a special type of stem cell could help repair damaged hearts.
First, doctors extract bone marrow stem cells from a patient.
Then, they grow the cells, enhancing their healing ability.
Those cells are then injected into the patient’s heart.
In the first clinical trial, the treatment was safe.
It repaired damaged heart muscles and appeared to even reverse some heart failure symptoms.
Researchers plan enrollment for the second phase of the trial at about 30 sites around the nation.
The therapy would not replace a heart transplant, but it may delay or prevent the need for transplantation in the future.
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42