Half of the participants will be ischemic heart disease patients with blood flow problems due to arterial disease and the other half will have the non-ischemic form caused by an enlarged heart muscle. All will have limited or no other treatment options.
The one-year, randomized and controlled study -- Phase II Cardiac Repair Cell Treatment of Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy -- will draw 40 patients' own bone marrow cells to provide cardiac repair cells that will be increased in a culture. The repair cells will then be directly injected into the left ventricle of the heart.
The injection will use a minimally invasive surgery developed by Dr. Amit Patel of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, the principal investigator.
"By using a patient's own cells, we eliminate the concern of rejection and the need for potentially harmful immunosuppressive drugs," Patel said in a statement. "We hope these cells will help with new blood vessels and support the heart muscle in order to improve the heart's function, thereby greatly improving the patient's quality of life."