Whereas the demand on effective treatment options for chronic heart failure is dramatically increasing, the recent recognition of physiological and pathological myocyte turnover in the adult human heart provided a fundamental basis for the therapeutic regeneration. Divergent modalities were experimentally introduced to this field, and selected ones have been applied clinically; the history began with skeletal myoblasts and bone-marrow-derived cells, and lately mesenchymal stem/stromal cells and resident cardiac cells joined the repertoire. Among them, autologous transplantation of c-kit-positive cardiac stem cells in patients with chronic ventricular dysfunction resulted in an outstanding outcome with long-lasting effects without increasing major adverse events. To further optimize currently available approaches, we have to consider multiple factors, such as the targeting disease, the cell population and number to be administered, and the timing and the route of cell delivery. Exploration of the consequence of the previous clinical trials would allow us to envision an ideal cellular therapy for various cardiovascular disorders.
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