Questions

What makes The Compassionate Treatment Centre unique?

The Compassionate Treatment Centre for Heart Failure is the only unit in the country to treat patients with heart failure based on compassionate grounds using their own stem cells. The Compassionate Treatment Centre has been made possible because of the Heart Cells Foundation research programme which has been in place over the last 15 years and the outstanding results achieved.

 

Who is suitable for Compassionate Stem Cell Therapy?

Patients with heart failure caused by either Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM),the heart is enlarged by no known cause,  or by Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD) due to narrowing inside the coronary arteries. The previous REGENERATE trials in stem cell therapy have demonstrated an improvement in both conditions.

 

 What process does a patient go through at the Compassionate Treatment Centre?

Once patients have been assessed as suitable they will be invited for the treatment at the Barts Heart Centre at a pre-arranged date. The process involves the patient spending approximately one week in the hospital for a five-day course of injections under the skin to boost bone marrow production. On the sixth day, the patient will undergo a bone marrow aspiration which involves a needle being inserted into the patient’s hip bone.  The bone marrow sample is processed to harvest the stem cells. On the same day, the patient will undergo treatment under local anesthetic, where a fine tube is inserted into the heart, and the stem cells are infused. The procecure takes around 1 hour and patients are usually able to return home the next day.

 

What is the cost of funding a patient for compassionate treatment?

Treatment for one person costs approximately £10,000.

 

Does a patient normally require more than one Stem Cell treatment?

At present the Heart Cells Foundation is looking at the effects of just one treatment per patient, however potential benefits of repeat procedures is something that will possibly be looked into as part of a future research programme.

For further information about the Compassionate Treatment Programme please write to the address or email below:

Sara Beare
HCF Stem Cell Compassionate Unit
c/o Cardiac Intervention Research
St Bartholomew’s Hospital
West Smithfield
London EC1A 7BE

Email: bhnt.stemcells@nhs.net