The therapy uses stem cells to repair damaged cells in certain diseases or injuries. Last fall, a group led by Dr. Roberto Bolli (pictured), director of U of L’s Division of Cardiology, announced it had successfully reversed heart damage in 16 trial patients through stem cell treatment. The new research will seek treatments for a greater variety of cardiovascular diseases, said Bolli.
“So we are going to study not just heart failure patients but a variety of patients with cardiovascular disease,” he said.
U of L is among seven institutions including Stanford University, University of Miami, University of Florida at Gainsville, University of Indiana at Indianapolis, Minniapolis Heart Institute and Texas Heaert Institute at Houston, that received a National Institutes of Health grant.
There could be up to 150 patients spread out among the institutions that take part in the study each year. After last year’s success, U of L officials say over 500 new patients inquired about the treatment.
“For each trial we have very precise inclusion and exclusion criteria. So we will examine each study separately and go over all the patients who are interested to see if they meet the criteria or not,” said Bolli.
Each center will receive around $390,000 a year for seven years, plus all patient costs related to procedures will be reimbursed to Jewish Hospital, said Bolli.
U of L was one of 30 institutions that applied for the grant, he said.