In 2000, Mr. Melber experienced a heart attack that resulted in repeated hospital stays. By 2004, he had more than 30 stents placed in his heart. When he was accepted into an adult stem cell clinical trial in 2006, run by Dr. Richard Schatz, his health had deteriorated further. He was using nitroglycerin in excessive doses, and his physical ability to perform daily tasks was severely compromised.
In September 2006, he had adult stem cells injected into his heart muscle at the Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, California. He underwent stem cell mobilization, a process that includes injections of a stem cell mobilizing agent over the course of several days, followed by apheresis, where the mobilized stem cells are collected by filtering them from his whole blood into a centrifuge.
After the collection process, he spent the night in the hospital and, early the next day, Dr. Schatz injected the collected cells into his heart muscle through a catheter in a process very similar to an angiogram. He spent the balance of that day and one night in the hospital before being released. He started noticing improvement within three weeks.
Dr. Schatz continued to moniter Mr. Melber’s progress, running tests at various intervals. Mr. Melber continued to improve with longer treadmill times and positive responses to other tests. Within a few months, he showed remarkable improvement.