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Umbilical cord blood is used in the treatment of hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a pathological condition, caused by malformations of the left heart. The disease requires numerous cardiac surgeries immediately after birth and is characterized by high mortality.

Given the high regenerative (restorative) potential of stem cells, the combined efforts of leading US medical centers resulted in the development of a novel method of supportive cell therapy for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, based on the introduction of autologous umbilical cord blood stem cells. The Phase 1 of the clinical trial has already been conducted, in which 10 newborns with this dangerous disease had been treated using cord blood stem cells simultaneously with surgical treatment.

The study confirmed the safety of the introduction of cord blood stem cells into the myocardium of young patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. No cases of operative mortality were recorded. Only one infant developed complications in the form of epicardial bleeding at the injection site, but doctors successfully managed it.

At this stage, cardiac surgeons cannot yet conclude on the effectiveness of cell therapy in the treatment of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The second phase of the clinical trial, already planned by US scientists, will help to elucidate this. But the developed safe method of introducing stem cells directly into the heart of newborns gives hope for the implementation of new effective therapeutic strategies for hypoplastic left heart syndrome with the help of stem cells of the umbilical cord blood.

Source: Burkhart HM, Qureshi MY et al. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019

In Ukraine, the Institute for Cell Therapy, in collaboration with leading state medical research institutes, is also developing approaches to the treatment of cardiovascular system diseases using cord blood and placenta stem cells. Dozens of patients have received a new quality of life thanks to the use of cell preparations, manufactured by the Institute of Cell Therapy Cryobank within the clinical trials.