What is the oncologic risk of stem cell treatment for heart disease?

Konstantinos E. Hatzistergos, Arnon Blum, Tan Ince, James M. Grichnik, Joshua M. Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Accumulating clinical and preclinical trials are adding to the database, supporting the idea that human cell therapy with MSC transplantation is a safe and a reliable procedure for treating heart disease. Long-term rigorous patient monitoring demonstrates the durability and safety of cell-based therapies for heart disease, with no incidence of tumorigenesis. As with any new therapy, extreme vigilance is required to monitor for, manage, and understand the risk of unwanted and desirable side effects. The specter of neoplasia raises major concerns. However, we conclude that the observations in rodent animal models used to study human diseases should be interpreted with caution when assessing safety and efficacy of any new therapeutic modality and that the risk- benefit profile of MSC cell therapy in the rodent is substantially different from that in large mammals. We believe that ongoing trials of MSCs in humans are of acceptable risk, but strongly argue for ongoing vigilance, particularly over the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1303
Number of pages4
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 27 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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