Next Miracle in Medicine – Mayo Clinic uses stem cells to treat heart birth defects

– They said Roman had
hypoplastic left heart syndrome and the best thing that we could do would be to take him home and in probably about three or four days, he’d
pass away on his own. I was 25 weeks pregnant
when we went back home just absolutely devastated
and we decided to come to Mayo and they gave us hope. (inspirational music) – The focus of this initial
trial is on the diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome
and that is a congenital heart defect where half of the
heart is not really formed. Now the ventricle that the child
is left with is a ventricle that now has a much
bigger responsibility than what it was initially
designed for and so over time, the function of this ventricle
gradually can get reduced to the point that the child,
or maybe a young adult, will start to develop
symptoms of heart failure. Once the function of
the ventricle goes down, we don’t have anything
that we can do for that. Stem cell therapy has
the ability to improve the function of any of these
ventricles that are failing. Whether it be a child,
whether it be an adult, whether it be a congenital defect, whether it be an adult defect. – The study here at Mayo Clinic with hypoplastic left heart
children is really the first FDA approved clinical
trial using stem cells to try to regenerate and cure
congenital heart disease. The study is really designed
to identify children with this disease before they’re born, collect umbilical cord blood
at the time of their birth. These children typically
need three surgeries. First starting in the
first few days of life, few months of life and
a few years of life. These three open-heart surgeries give us an opportunity at the
second one to deliver these stem cells into their heart
with the intent of trying to make their heart bigger,
better and stronger. Roman went through the
procedure three months ago and received the stem
cells and since that time, he’s done extremely well. What we believe is
happening is these cells are probably stimulating
the underlying regenerative capacity of the heart. There’s 40,000 children
born in the United States with congenital heart
disease and a good percentage of them develop heart failure
so this type of therapy may allow us to delay or, ideally, prevent the need for cardiac transplantation. – I hope Roman’s future has no set-backs, nothing holds him back. – My hope for Roman’s surgeries is that it’ll benefit people in the future. – The reality that we’re
facing today in bio-medical research is funding is being pushed down at the national level so
it really creates this valley of death between
innovation and applications. – If you look at the major
milestones in medicine, we had antibiotic therapy for the life-threatening infections, then we had the inception of heart surgery using the heart lung machine. Then we had transplantation
where we were able to come up with medicines
that minimized rejection. That was probably the last
major miracle in medicine. This is the next potential
miracle in medicine where it has the potential
to impact the largest number of patients in healthcare,
in heart failure. (inspirational music) So we can make a difference,
so we should make a difference. (inspirational music) Thank you.

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