Doctors Hopeful About Stem-Cell Heart Treatment

Researchers in San Diego are using stem cells in a clinical trial on patients with heart damage.

Chances are good that heart failure is in your future. Congestive heart failure is the heart's inability to pump blood throughout the body, and you have a one in five risk of developing it. With more than 600,000 new cases diagnosed each year, medical researchers are looking at new high-tech  ways of  treating  heart disease. 

According to Dr. Anthony DeMaria of UCSD's School of Medicine, stem cells are taken from the bone marrow of a donor, then injected into the damaged areas of the heart. So far, the clinical trial is being tested on 60 patients who have no other treatment options for heart disease. Two of the volunteers are from San Diego.

DeMaria said researchers hope to see -- within six months to a year -- if the stem cells strengthen the heart muscle and expand  surrounding blood vessels.

UCSD is currently looking for more volunteers for this clinical trial, which if successful could have huge implications for the aging population.

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