Grants targeting a solution for heart disease have become a major theme with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine as demonstrated by recent support for several potential stem cell or regenerative therapies. The most recent is for the use of embryonic stem cells.
"This will be the first time anyone has implanted cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into a human heart," said Robert Robbins MD, professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery and director of Stanford's Cardiovascular Institute. "We're excited to assess this potential treatment for patients who currently have very few options other than heart transplant."
Substantial research is currently taking place in stem cell and regenerative medicine for heart related issues in both private stem cell companies and universities. See recent posts here, (UCLA), here (Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute), here (Johns Hopkins).
"This is really a multidisciplinary, multi-institute grant," said Stanford cardiologist Joseph Wu, MD, PhD. "We are collaborating with researchers from Gladstone, UCSF, UCLA, UCSD and the City of Hope. If our project is successful, we will then recruit patients who have been placed on a left ventricular assist device while they await a heart transplant. This will allow us to inject the cells at the time we implant the LVAD, and to assess their engraftment and cell fate when the patient's native heart is removed at the time of subsequent heart transplant."
Here Joseph Wu discusses the approach that will be taken in the Stanford study:
Adapted from the Stanford School of Medicine announcement.