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Blog / Stem Cells

Can stem cell therapy treat heart disease?


June 2, 2020

David Lyons

Guest contributor

Jun 2, 2020

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director | DVC Stem

In this post, we explain the main causes of heart disease & the potential use of stem cells to help treat the condition.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide among men, women, and children. Over 17 million people die each year from heart disease, and millions more suffer from the symptoms regularly. For this reason, physicians have tried every avenue to come up with solutions to cure heart-related issues. With recent advancements in stem cell research, physicians are starting to turn toward the healing properties of stem cells for an answer.

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease is caused by wear and tear on the heart muscles. Heart cells may become damaged over time due to a variety of factors including heart attacks, drug and alcohol use, associated diseases, and birth defects. Once these cells are damaged, heart disease progresses linearly, as the heart is unable to repair itself over time. A damaged heart cannot pump blood as effectively throughout the body. This results in a variety of conditions including increased blood pressure and lack of oxygen to cells around the body. The heart may try to compensate by stretching the heart walls or working harder, but this generally increases the issues already present. 

Current treatments for heart disease range from transplanting parts of the heart or the whole organ in some cases, to the use of blood thinners and other drugs. These treatments seek to completely replace damaged tissue or make it easier for a damaged heart to function. However, these treatments can be very expensive, time-consuming, and limit the patient's quality of life.

Stem cell therapy for Heart Disease

Stem cells are cells that have not yet specialized in the body. They can become whatever type of cells they need to be, in a process called differentiation. Stem cells will find dead or damaged tissue and naturally replace the defective cells. This property has led modern medicine to turn to stem cells for a variety of conditions. Regarding heart disease, researchers have begun testing to use stem cells to effectively replace a heart's damaged cells with a patient's own stem cells. Researchers are currently looking at three different approaches to treatment. The first involves taking stem cells from a patient's own bone marrow and then transplanting them directly into the heart via catheter. The second involves using donated stem cells to create patches or grafts that can be applied to damaged areas of the heart, healing the tissue underneath. Lastly, researchers are now trying to reprogram cells within the heart to become stem cells and promote healing, bypassing the need for a cell transplant. Although these methods are very promising, the field of using stem cells to treat heart disease is very young. 

However, trials so far have been promising with minimal side effects. Dr. Richard Lee of the Harvard Medical Centre has recently stated most of the stem cell therapies for the heart have been surprisingly safe, but long term effects are still a concern, adding most investigators think this is just a few years away.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry


Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!


Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.

Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem


Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

About the author

Louis A. Cona, MD

Louis A. Cona, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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