Advertisement

Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy: A House of Cards About to Fall? — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 30, 2014

Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy: A House of Cards About to Fall?

By Larry Husten

Many of the most promising results in cardiac stem cell therapy are illusory, and the potential benefits of stem cells to treat heart disease are probably far more modest than previously believed, according to a BMJ study. The study also raises disturbing questions about ethics and research misconduct.

Researchers examined 133 reports from nearly 50 different clinical trials testing autologous bone marrow stem cells in patients with heart disease. They found more than 600 discrepancies, ranging from minor oversights to serious unexplained errors and apparent deceptions.

The number of discrepancies was strongly correlated with the reported improvement in heart function. Five trials with no discrepancies reported no improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (-0.4%), while five trials with the highest number of discrepancies (>30 each) reported a large and, if true, clinically significant improvement (+7.7%).

Coincidentally, a newly released Cochrane review found "some evidence that stem cell treatment may be of benefit" in heart disease. But, reviewers noted, "the quality of the evidence is relatively low because there were few deaths and hospital readmissions in the studies, and individual study results varied."

Adapted from CardioExchange.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement