Doctors from the Netherlands report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that bone marrow adult stem cells injected into the hearts of patients with chronic heart disease can improve heart function and patient health. Fifty patients, average age 64, who had chronic myocardial ischemia--decreased oxygen to the heart, often due to blocked arteries--were tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The results were assessed at 3 months and 6 months after injections of the adult stem cells. Patients who received the adult stem cell injections had improved blood flow, reduced pain, and were able to exercise more.

The results continue to confirm the work of Bodo Strauer of Germany and others who have pioneered similar strategies for use of adult stem cells for various cardiac conditions.