Stem Cell Research: Heart Stem Cells May Help Heal Hearts …

Posted: December 17, 2014 at 8:45 am

Two men in landmark heart stem cell study tell their stories.

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Jim Dearing of Louisville, Ky., one of the first men in the world to receive heart stem cells, might have helped start a medical revolution that could lead to a cure for heart failure.

Three years after getting the experimental stem cell procedure, following two heart attacks and heart failure, Dearings heart is working normally.

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The difference is clear and dramatic -- and it's lasting, according to findings now being made public for the first time.

Dearing first showed "completely normal heart function" on an echocardiogram done in 2011, says Roberto Bolli, MD, who is leading the stem cell trial at the University of Louisville. Those results have not been published before.

That was still true in July 2012, when Dearing again showed normal heart function on another echocardiogram.

Based on those tests, Bolli says, "Anyone who looks at his heart now would not imagine that this patient was in heart failure, that he had a heart attack, that he was in the hospital, that he had surgery, and everything else."

It's not just Dearing who has benefited. His friend, Mike Jones, who had even more severe heart damage, also got the stem cell procedure in 2009. Since then, scarred regions of his heart have shrunk. His heart now appears leaner and stronger than it was before.

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Stem Cell Research: Heart Stem Cells May Help Heal Hearts ...

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