A late-stage multinational clinical trial led by Mayo Clinic researchers has shown that stem cell-based therapy can significantly improve the quality of life for patients with advanced heart failure.
This study, one of the largest of its kind, involved patients who had experienced a heart attack and had subsequently developed heart failure.
The patients reported a reduction in daily hardships when stem cells, specifically optimized for heart repair, were added to their standard care.
In addition to an improved quality of life, the study also demonstrated lower rates of death and hospitalization among patients treated with stem cell therapy. The findings were published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
Heart failure is a serious and life-threatening condition that affects a significant number of people worldwide.
It is often associated with symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, and limited physical activities, which significantly reduce the quality of life for those affected.
The standard treatment for heart failure includes a combination of heart-healthy lifestyle changes, medications, implantable devices, and rehabilitation. However, these approaches do not work for everyone, especially in advanced stages of the disease.
The study involved 315 patients from 39 hospitals across 10 countries who had advanced heart failure despite receiving standard care.
Patients were randomly divided into two groups: one receiving stem cell therapy, and the other receiving a sham treatment (cardiac catheterization without cell delivery).
Patients who received stem cell therapy had cells taken from their own bone marrow, programmed to heal damaged heart tissue, and delivered to the heart.
All participants were asked to complete self-assessments of their physical, behavioral, and emotional states at various intervals during the study.
The results revealed that patients with preexisting left cardiac chamber enlargement consistently reported improved quality of life after receiving stem cell therapy compared to those who received the sham treatment.
Additionally, patients who received stem cell therapy experienced lower rates of death and hospitalization.
This clinical trial was conducted in a double-blinded fashion, meaning that both participants and healthcare professionals were unaware of the study’s assignment to reduce potential bias in evaluating patient outcomes.
The study’s unique approach focused on the patient’s experience and self-reported outcomes, which sets it apart from many other regenerative therapy trials.
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The research findings can be found in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
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