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 14 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. In  previous experience with stem cell therapy (the REGENERATE trials), an improvement in both conditions has been demonstrated.


 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 Barts Heart Centre at arranged date. The process involves the patient spending  approximately one week in the hospital and treatment consists of a five-day course of injections under the skin to boost bone marrow production. This will be followed by a bone marrow procedure on the fifth day which involves a  needle to be inserted into the patient’s hip near the base of the spine to extract 50ml of bone marrow which contains numerous cells. The bone marrow is processed to separate the progenitor cells which includes the stem cells for this procedure and the patient will then undergo surgery under local anesthetic, where a fine tube is inserted into the heart, and the stem cells are inserted. The surgery takes around 20 minutes and patients are 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, but repeat procedures is something that will be looked into as part of the future research programme to see if it adds further benefit.


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