Potential clinical benefits of cell therapy in coronary heart disease: an update
Cell therapy is a central issue of regenerative medicine and is raising a growing interest in the scientific community, but its full therapeutic potential in coronary heart disease (CHD) has not been reached yet. Several different methods, cell types, delivery routes, and supporting techniques have been attempted and improved to elicit cardiac regeneration in CHD, but only some of them showed a really convincing potential for the use in clinical practice. Here we provide an update on approaches and clinical trials of cell therapy applied to CHD, which are ongoing or that have been realized in the last 5 years. Moreover, we discuss the evidence collected so far in favor or against the validity of stem cell therapy for CHD. In particular, we review and comment the recent advances in cell therapy applied to CHD, the most promising cell types, delivery strategies, biochemical and engineering techniques that have been adopted in this context.