First U.S. Babies Treated In Unique Study of Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Congenital Heart Disease

University of Maryland Medical Center Patients with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Receive Bone Marrow Stem Cells

December 20, 2016

Dr. Kaushal with pediatric patientIn a first-in-children randomized clinical study, medical researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have begun testing to see whether adult stem cells derived from bone marrow benefit children with the congenital heart defect hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

UM SOM surgeons are injecting the cells into the babies’ hearts during open-heart operations at the University of Maryland Medical Center. ISCI is supplying the stem cells for the procedures.

“The premise of this clinical trial is to boost or regenerate the right ventricle, the only ventricle in these babies, to make it pump as strongly as a normal left ventricle,” says lead researcher Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine and director, pediatric cardiac surgery, University of Maryland Medical Center. “We are hoping this therapy will be a game-changer for these patients.”

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