The strange, doubt-filled story that iPS cells have already been transplanted into human patients is generating a great deal of interest today even as Harvard officially indicates it never approved any such work.
According to the original Japanese newspaper report, Dr. Hisashi Moriguchi transplanted iPS cell-derived heart cells into patients, work approved by Harvard.
The story is starting to unravel, but many key questions remain.
Video of Moriguchi at his poster on the alleged transplant work can be seen here with a screen shot above.
Several sources have told me that Moriguchi’s poster does indeed seem to indicate he did iPS cell transplant work in patients. A summary of the poster:
The summary says it was a randomized, placebo controlled study of patients with LV EF of <35% and likely candidates for CABG. Patients received either 30 iPS or placebo injections around the akinetic area for total volume of 6mL. All received an ICD. Total number of patients was 12, 6 each. Changes in EF were 4.1% and 41.5% in placebo and iPS groups respectively. No arrhythmic events. 6-month rates of major adverse events were not different. Conclusion: autologous iPS derived cardiomyocytes w CABG improved function in patients with low LV function.
Did this unapproved stem cell clinical work actually occur? If so, what are the repercussions of the work being apparently unapproved? How were the patients recruited? Where did the work take place?
Stay tuned as this weird story evolves.