"We do need a new way of treating heart failure if we want more improvement," said Jauhar, who added that it is too early to say whether the new stem cell therapy will fill that role. "It shows some improvement in pumping parameters of the heart, but that doesn't mean you will live longer," he said.
This is a small study that suggests the treatment is safe, said Dr. Kirk Garrett, clinical director of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "The approach is different in that most other groups zero in on one gene or cell type, and try to make it do the work," he said, while the new treatment involves both stem cells and immune cells that are primed to do the job.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Learn more about heart failure and how it is treated at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
SOURCES: Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., director, congestive heart failure program, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Timothy Henry, M.D., director, research, interventional cardiologist, Minneapolis Heart Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis; Kirk Garratt, M.D., clinical director, interventional cardiovascular research, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; May 10, 2012, presentation, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions annual meeting, Las Vegas
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