Umbilical Cord Stem cells for Heart failure treatment

Researchers from the Universidad de los Andes in Chile have found promising results from the Umbilical Cord stem cells that could be used for non-invasive therapy. Heart failure which is marked by the heart muscle’s inability to pump blood efficiently, affects around 37 million people worldwide. Despite medical advances, half of patients diagnosed with heart failure are prone die within five years of diagnosis, according to Figueroa.

The Study

In the study a trial was made with 30 patients aging from 18 to 75 with stable heart failure receiving optimal drug therapy. They were infused with either umbilical cord-derived stem cells or placebo, intravenously. The Umbilical cord cells used in these cases were obtained from full-term human placentas from healthy donors through caesarean section (with informed consent of the donor).

The stem cell therapy showed better results than the Placebo in the following ways

  • Sustained and significant improvement in the hearts’ ability to pump blood was seen post treatment.
  • Better results were seen in the everyday functional status and overall quality of life.
  • Did not show any adverse effects or development of alloantibodies which is one of the common immune complication in patients receiving organ transplants or blood transfusion.


Advantages of Umbilical Cord Stem cells over Bone marrow-derived stem cells

Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells provides several benefits such easily accessibility, expansion in vitro, distinct properties, improves myocardial remodelling and function in experimental models of cardiovascular disease, wide availability, unlikely in causing immune complications and are also free of the ethical concerns. While bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells have been previously assessed for their therapeutic potential in individuals with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), no clinical trial has evaluated Umbilical Cord stem cells in these patients.

“Standard drug-based regimens can be suboptimal in controlling heart failure, and patients often have to progress to more invasive therapies such as mechanical ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation,” said lead study author Jorge Bartolucci M.D., a cardiologist from Cells for Cells and professor at the Universidad de los Andes.

Hence the researchers are looking forward to take this as a lead for finding better non-invasive ways of treatments.


[1] (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2017, from

[2] Bartolucci, J. G., Verdugo, F. J., González, P. L., Larrea, R. E., Abarzua, E., Goset, C., . . . Khoury, M. (2017). Safety and Efficacy of the Intravenous Infusion of Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients With Heart Failure: A Phase 1/2 Randomized Controlled Trial (RIMECARD Trial). Circulation Research. doi:10.1161/circresaha.117.310712

[3] Umbilical Cord Tissue Stem Cells – Why You Should Store. (2016, November 15). Retrieved October 24, 2017, from


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