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Effectiveness of Stem Cell Treatment for Adults With Ischemic Cardiomyopathy (The FOCUS Study)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00824005
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 16, 2009
Results First Posted : April 4, 2013
Last Update Posted : July 1, 2015
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dr Lemuel A Moye III, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Brief Summary:
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a common disorder that can lead to heart failure. Not all people with CAD are eligible for today's standard treatments. One new treatment approach uses stem cells-specialized cells capable of developing into other types of cells-to stimulate growth of new blood vessels for the heart. This study will determine the safety and effectiveness of withdrawing stem cells from someone's bone marrow and injecting those cells into the person's heart as a way of treating people with CAD and heart failure.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease Left Ventricular Dysfunction Angina Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Biological: Adult stem cells Biological: Placebo Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Coronary artery disease (CAD), a disease in which blood vessels become clogged by a build-up of plaque, is the leading cause of heart failure, a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. People with heart failure caused by CAD are said to have ischemic cardiomyopathy. Normal treatment for CAD involves coronary artery bypass grafting (in which a vein from another part of the body is grafted around an artery that has become blocked) or coronary angioplasty and stent placement (in which a blocked artery is opened and a small tube is placed to keep the artery open). However, some people with ischemic cardiomyopathy, such as those with substantial scar tissue on the heart wall or those with a particular heart structure, may not be eligible for these treatments. An alternative treatment being developed is therapeutic angiogenesis, which involves stimulating the growth of new blood vessels. Recent research has shown that withdrawing stem cells from bone marrow and implanting the cells into heart tissue may be an effective way to achieve therapeutic angiogenesis. This study will determine the safety and effectiveness of using stem cells to stimulate new blood vessel growth in the hearts of people with ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Participation in this study, including follow-up visits and phone calls, will last 60 months. Participants will first undergo 3 to 4 days of screening procedures that will include a physical examination, multiple lab tests, and a battery of tests on heart health. Next, participants will be randomized to receive either active stem cell injections or placebo injections. The injections and related procedures will be performed in a hospital and last approximately 72 hours. During this time, participants in both groups will first undergo a bone marrow aspiration procedure. Participants receiving active stem cells will also undergo NOGA electromechanical cardiac mapping, which involves inserting a monitoring device through a catheter and into the heart. Injections of stem cells will then be made to 15 damaged sites on the heart through a special catheter. Participants receiving placebo injections will receive 15 injections of an inactive, saline-based solution. After the injection procedures, all participants will undergo two echocardiograms, an electrocardiogram, blood tests, and overnight monitoring in a telemetry unit.

After the hospital stay, all participants will attend five study visits that will occur 1 week and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the injection procedures. At all study visits, participants will undergo an electrocardiogram, lab tests, and a review of adverse health events. On all but the last study visit, participants will have cardiac markers assessed, and they will wear a 24-hour Holter monitor to track heart activity. At the last three visits, participants will also complete quality of life questionnaires. All participants will then receive four follow-up telephone calls that will occur 2, 3, 4, and 5 years after the injection procedures.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 92 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized, Controlled, Phase II, Double-Blind Trial of Intramyocardial Injection of Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells Under Electromechanical Guidance for Patients With Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease and Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Study Start Date : March 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Placebo Injections
Participants will receive placebo injections.
Biological: Placebo
Single procedure of intramyocardial electromechanical-guided needle insertions and injection of 5% human serum albumin and saline in 15 different injection sites
Other Names:
  • Human serum albumin
  • HSA

Experimental: Active Stem Cell Injections
Participants will receive active stem cell injections.
Biological: Adult stem cells
Single procedure of intramyocardial electromechanical-guided injection of approximately 100 million bone marrow mononucleated cells (BM-MNCs), administered in 15 different injection sites
Other Names:
  • Adult autologous stem cells
  • Bone marrow mononucleated cells

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2max) [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    The VO2(max) is assessed using the Naughton treadmill protocol.

  2. Change in Left Ventricular End Systolic Volume (LVESV)as Assessed Via Echo [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Echocardiographic measurements were performed by an echocardiographic core laboratory. LVESVs were calculated by the modified biplane Simpson method, using myocardial contrast to enhance endocardial definition. To account for patient body surface area, LVESV indices are reported.

  3. Change in Reversible Defect Size [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Adenosine myocardial perfusion (SPECT) tests were collected at baseline and 6 months to identify change in ischemic (reversible) defects. SPECT imaging was performed at rest and after adenosine infusion over 4 minutes. To enhance the detection of viability on resting images, sublingual nitroglycerin was administered 15 minutes before injecting technetium Tc 99m sestamibi for the resting image.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Regional Wall Motion by MRI (in Eligible Patients) [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Regional wall motion as measured by cardiac MRI (in patients who are not contraindicated)

  2. Regional Blood Flow Improvement by MRI (in Eligible Patients) [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Regional blood flow improvement as measured by cardiac MRI (in patients who are not contraindicated)

  3. Regional Wall Motion by Echocardiography [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Movement of the left ventricular wall measured in mm from baseline to six months.

  4. Clinical Improvement in CCS Classification (Angina Pectoris) [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Clinical improvement in Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) functional classification of angina pectoris. The CCS scale ranges from Class I (best)"able to conduct ordinary daily activity without causing angina" to Class IV (worst) "Inability to perform any physical activity without discomfort; anginal symptoms may be present at rest." Patients receive a rating of 1-4 for their anginal symptoms. Results reflect the mean change in the total score over time.

  5. Clinical Improvement in NYHA Classification [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Clinical improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification. The NYHA scale ranges from 1 (best)"Mild- no limitation of physical activity due to heart failure" to 4 (worst) "Severe-Unable to carry out any physical activity without discomfort due to heart failure". Patients receive a rating of 1-4 for their heart failure symptoms. Results reflect the mean change in the total score over time.

  6. Number of Participants With a Decrease in Anti-anginal Medication [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Number of participants with a decrease in anti-anginal medication (nitrates needed weekly)

  7. Exercise Time and Level [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Exercise time and level as assessed via six minute walk test. (change in number of feet walked)

  8. Serum BNP Levels in Patients With CHF [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Serum b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). A minority number of patients had pro-BNP collected versus regular BNP; these numbers are reported in the analysis population description.

  9. LV Diastolic Dimension [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Left ventricular (LV) diastolic dimension as assessed by contrast echocardiography

  10. Incidence of a Major Adverse Cardiac Event [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]

    Incidence of major adverse cardiac events (new MI, rehospitalization for PCI in coronary artery territories that were treated, death, or rehospitalization for acute coronary syndrome and for congestive heart failure).

    (Incidence rate)

  11. Reduction in Fixed Perfusion Defect(s)Via SPECT [ Time Frame: Measured at Baseline and Month 6 ]
    Fixed total defect is the stress total defect minus the reversible component.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients >18 years of age with significant coronary heart disease not amenable to revascularization.
  • Left ventricular dysfunction (LVEF) less than or equal to 45%, measured by echocardiogram; limiting angina (Class II to IV); and/or congestive heart failure (CHF), NYHA class II to III
  • Receiving maximal medical therapy, defined as a medical regimen that includes the maximal tolerated dose of at least two antiangina medications, such as beta-blockers, nitrates, or calcium-channel blockers
  • Presence of a defect, as identified by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) isotope protocol, or viability, as identified by NOGA electromechanical cardiac mapping system
  • Coronary artery disease not well suited to any other type of revascularization procedure in the target region of the ventricle, as determined by a cardiovascular surgeon and interventional cardiologist who are not investigators in the trial
  • Hemodynamic stability, as defined by systolic blood pressure of at least 80 mm Hg without intravenous pressors or support devices
  • Females of childbearing potential must be willing to use two forms of birth control for the duration of the study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Atrial fibrillation or flutter without a pacemaker that guarantees a stable heart rate
  • Unstable angina
  • Left ventricular (LV) thrombus, as documented by echocardiography or LV angiography
  • A vascular anatomy that precludes cardiac catheterization
  • Severe valvular disease or mechanical aortic valve that precludes safe entry of the catheter into the left ventricle
  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Platelet count less than 100,000 per mm3
  • White blood cell count less than 2,000 per mm3
  • Revascularization within 30 days of consent
  • Transient ischemic attack or stroke within 60 days of study consent
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shock within 30 days of baseline consent, and within 30 days of randomization
  • Presence of ventricular tachycardia lasting 30 seconds or more on 24-hour Holter monitor or electrocardiogram (ECG) performed during screening period
  • Bleeding diathesis, defined as an international normalized ratio of at least 2.0 in the absence of warfarin therapy
  • A history of malignancy in the last 5 years excluding basal cell carcinoma, that has been surgically removed, with proof of surgical clean margins
  • Has a known history of HIV, has active hepatitis B or active hepatitis C
  • Any condition requiring immunosuppressive medication
  • High-risk acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or a myocardial infarction in the month prior to consent
  • A left ventricular wall thickness of <8 mm (by echocardiogram) of the infero-lateral wall at the target site for cell injection.
  • Inability to walk on a treadmill, except for class IV angina patients, who will be evaluated separately
  • Enrolled in an investigational device or drug study within the previous 30 days
  • Hepatic dysfunction, as defined as aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (ALT) more than 1.5 times the upper limit of normal range prior to study entry
  • Chronic renal insufficiency, defined as a serum creatinine level greater than 2.5 mg/dL or requiring dialysis
  • Any other condition that in the judgment of the investigator would be a contraindication to enrollment or follow-up

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00824005

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United States, Florida
University of Florida-Department of Medicine
Gainesville, Florida, United States, 32611
United States, Minnesota
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55407
United States, Ohio
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio, United States, 44195
United States, Tennessee
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee, United States, 37232
United States, Texas
Texas Heart Institute
Houston, Texas, United States, 77225
Sponsors and Collaborators
The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN)
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Study Chair: Robert Simari, MD Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network
Additional Information:
Publications of Results:
Other Publications:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Dr Lemuel A Moye III, Professor - School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00824005    
Other Study ID Numbers: 580
U01HL087318 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
1 U01-HL-087318-01 (Project 3)
First Posted: January 16, 2009    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 4, 2013
Last Update Posted: July 1, 2015
Last Verified: June 2015
Keywords provided by Dr Lemuel A Moye III, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston:
Congestive Heart Failure
Regional Wall Motion
Perfusion Defects
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Heart Diseases
Myocardial Ischemia
Coronary Artery Disease
Ventricular Dysfunction
Ventricular Dysfunction, Left
Pathologic Processes
Cardiovascular Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Coronary Disease
Arterial Occlusive Diseases