Regenerative Medicine Clinic Patient Guide
Cardiac patients can learn more about clinical trials at the Smidt Heart Institute's Regenerative Medicine Clinic. Frequently Asked Questions provide answers to help patients decide if they would like to participate in a clinical trial. Forms and Additional resources prepare patients for their first meeting and provide an idea of what to expect.
Imagine that, instead of managing symptoms with medications, devices and invasive surgeries,doctors could use regenerative cells to replace damaged tissue and restore function of a failing organ. The Smidt Heart Institute Regenerative Medicine Clinic focuses on using stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue caused by disease, injury, congenital defects, aging or other circumstances. Regenerative medicine has the potential to offer actual healing. For cardiac patients, research studies and clinical trials are going on right now using stem cells to regenerate heart tissue.
Healing occurs naturally in the body when healthy stem cells are made. Stem cells are responsible for growing new tissues. Transplanting healthy stem cells into the body, for example, into the heart, can help restore or regenerate unhealthy cells so that the heart can start functioning properly again. Stem cells generally come from umbilical cord blood, adult blood or adult bone marrow. A patient’s own stem cells can be used, although there also are studies using allogeneic stem cells from one person to another.
Our focus is on carefully evaluating patients with advanced cardiovascular disease who are not amenable to conventional therapy and may be suitable for stem cell therapy. Patients who are eligible for a stem cell therapy clinical trial will be evaluated and enrolled into one of the most appropriate studies and will be closely followed as required by each specific protocol. Not all patients will qualify to participate; they will need to see if they meet the criteria to be part of a clinical trial.
Under the leadership of Tim Henry, MD, the Regenerative Medicine Clinic conducts several cardiovascular stem cell therapy clinical trials. In addition to the physicians on our expert team, experienced clinical research investigators and coordinators staff the clinic.
Currently, there are clinical trials all phases available at the Smidt Heart Institute Regenerative Medicine Clinic. In addition to conducting clinical trials, the goal of the clinic is to be well positioned to provide these therapies as part of routine care, once approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical use.