Almost always a dilated heart does not have necrotic cells until there is a heart attack (MI). Cell therapy, particularly with stem cells, has created great interest as a solution to the fact that there are limited treatments for postischemic heart disease and none that can regenerate damaged heart cells to strengthen cardiac performance.
FDA has not approved stem cell therapy for heart disease, I have read approval is about 5 years away.
There are several trials ongoing regarding stem cells and the heart - the largest I'm aware of uses stem cells to treat a certain sub group of patients post MI (this is where the greatest market potential exists). Specifically regarding stem cell treatments for dilated cardiomyopathy I'm aware of 2 smaller trials (though there could easily be more) - the first is an Australian company (I know v little about it), the second is a trial by Aastrom Biosciences. If you google the company you will see that they treated 2 dilated cardiomyopathy patients in Germany with stem cells in a "Phase I" trial and both patients experienced a large improvement in EF. On the back of that small study they secured approval for a 40+ person trial in the US - that trial is still in the early stages and given the small size of the company I can't speak to the potential for the trial or the prospects for commercialization except to say that the German Phase I results were promising enough for the FDA to approve the Phase II trial with signficantly more patients (though the sample size is obviously very small and needs to be borne out). In the interest of full disclosure, I want to say I own about $1,000 worth of Aastrom Biosciences stock which I bought after reading the results of the German trial (just felt like I should mention this info to be fair).
Your best bet to gather info is to start out by googling for stem cell trials and possibly look through some of the clinical trial registries available online. Another option would be to go to the websites for major univeristy hospitals and search for the clinical trials being run onsite (most major hospitals have these websites - I have searched several myself).
For a list of clinical trials world wide try this link below. I check it about twice a month. I applied for the Aastrom Biosciences trial and was almost accepted but they couldn't clearly discern whether there was ischemic involvement in my etiology so they didn't accept me. Good luck and please post any useful information you find with this forum.
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