Anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy (AIC) may be irreversible with a poor prognosis, disproportionately affecting women and young adults. Administration of allogeneic bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stromal cells (allo-MSCs) is a promising approach to heart failure (HF) treatment.
SENECA (Stem Cell Injection in Cancer Survivors) was a phase 1 study of allo-MSCs in AIC.
Cancer survivors with chronic AIC (mean age 56.6 years; 68% women; NT-proBNP 1,426 pg/ml; 6 enrolled in an open-label, lead-in phase and 31 subjects randomized 1:1) received 1 × 108 allo-MSCs or vehicle transendocardially. Primary objectives were safety and feasibility. Secondary efficacy measures included cardiac function and structure measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR), functional capacity, quality of life (Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire), and biomarkers.
A total of 97% of subjects underwent successful study product injections; all allo-MSC–assigned subjects received the target dose of cells. Follow-up visits were well-attended (92%) with successful collection of endpoints in 94% at the 1-year visit. Although 58% of subjects had non-CMR compatible devices, CMR endpoints were successfully collected in 84% of subjects imaged at 1 year. No new tumors were reported. There were no significant differences between allo-MSC and vehicle groups with regard to clinical outcomes. Secondary measures included 6-min walk test (p = 0.056) and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire score (p = 0.048), which tended to favor the allo-MSC group.
In this first-in-human study of cell therapy in patients with AIC, transendocardial administration of allo-MSCs appears safe and feasible, and CMR was successfully performed in the majority of the HF patients with devices. This study lays the groundwork for phase 2 trials aimed at assessing efficacy of cell therapy in patients with AIC. (Stem Cell Injection in Cancer Survivors [SENECA]; NCT02509156)