Dr. Simon H. Stertzer Discusses Stem Cell Therapy in Heart Failure

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BioCardia Chairman of the Board, Dr. Simon Stertzer, talks with Eric Dye of Entrepreneurial Fit Radio about the future of heart failure treatment using stem cell therapy.  As an expert in the field of cardiology, Dr. Stertzer explains current treatment protocols, which are geared toward eliminating or correcting for the abnormally held fluid surrounding the heart, versus the potential of stem cells treatments which directly address the weakness of the heart itself.


ED: How is stem cell therapy being applied to the treatment of heart failure?

SS: There are a lot of different ways of getting stem cells into the heart muscle that try to improve cardiac function. The best way to improve function is to put cells directly into the heart muscles which can stimulate the cardiac cells that are capable of healing themselves and to improve the status of weakened heart cells.


ED: What have been the previous limitations of treating heart failure, and how can stem cell therapy potentially change this?

SS: Cells that come from other human beings or from selected cells from the patients themselves, injected into the heart, will have beneficial effects on cardiac function, and hopefully improve the ability of patients to walk, and we expect that patient quality of life will be improved


ED: What are some common questions or concerns about treating heart failure with stem cell therapy, and how would you respond to these?

SS: The main problem is to get the data that proves without a doubt that improvement with stem cell therapy directly into the heart is going to improve function, improve quality of life, decrease hospitalization and hopefully improve heart function in a way that you could document with physical examination. I think the most important thing right out of the beginning is to show that people with heart failure who get stem cells will be able to walk further, breathe better, have a better quality of life, have fewer hospitalizations.


Listen to the podcast to hear Dr. Stertzer’s outlook on the future of heart disease and the potential for stem cell therapy over the next 5-10 years.