Changes in ventricular remodelling and clinical status during the year following a single administration of stromal cell-derived factor-1 non-viral gene therapy in chronic ischaemic heart failure patients: the STOP-HF randomized Phase II trial

Eur Heart J. 2015 Sep 1;36(33):2228-38. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv254. Epub 2015 Jun 7.


Background: Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) promotes tissue repair through mechanisms of cell survival, endogenous stem cell recruitment, and vasculogenesis. Stromal Cell-Derived Factor-1 Plasmid Treatment for Patients with Heart Failure (STOP-HF) is a Phase II, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate safety and efficacy of a single treatment of plasmid stromal cell-derived factor-1 (pSDF-1) delivered via endomyocardial injection to patients with ischaemic heart failure (IHF).

Methods: Ninety-three subjects with IHF on stable guideline-based medical therapy and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤40%, completed Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLWHFQ) and 6-min walk distance (6 MWD), were randomized 1 : 1 : 1 to receive a single treatment of either a 15 or 30 mg dose of pSDF-1 or placebo via endomyocardial injections. Safety and efficacy parameters were assessed at 4 and 12 months after injection. Left ventricular functional and structural measures were assessed by contrast echocardiography and quantified by a blinded independent core laboratory. Stromal Cell-Derived Factor-1 Plasmid Treatment for Patients with Heart Failure was powered based on change in 6 MWD and MLWHFQ at 4 months.

Results: Subject profiles at baseline were (mean ± SD): age 65 ± 9 years, LVEF 28 ± 7%, left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV) 167 ± 66 mL, N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) (NTproBNP) 1120 ± 1084 pg/mL, MLWHFQ 50 ± 20 points, and 6 MWD 289 ± 99 m. Patients were 11 ± 9 years post most recent myocardial infarction. Study injections were delivered without serious adverse events in all subjects. Sixty-two patients received drug with no unanticipated serious product-related adverse events. The primary endpoint was a composite of change in 6 MWD and MLWHFQ from baseline to 4 months follow-up. The primary endpoint was not met (P = 0.89). For the patients treated with pSDF-1, there was a trend toward an improvement in LVEF at 12 months (placebo vs. 15 mg vs. 30 mg ΔLVEF: -2 vs. -0.5 vs. 1.5%, P = 0.20). A pre-specified analysis of the effects of pSDF-1 based on tertiles of LVEF at entry revealed improvements in EF and LVESV from lowest-to-highest LVEF. Patients in the first tertile of EF (<26%) that received 30 mg of pSDF-1 demonstrated a 7% increase in EF compared with a 4% decrease in placebo (ΔLVEF = 11%, P = 0.01) at 12 months. There was also a trend towards improvement in LVESV, with treated patients demonstrating an 18.5 mL decrease compared with a 15 mL increase for placebo at 12 months (ΔLVESV = 33.5 mL, P = 0.12). The change in end-diastolic and end-systolic volume equated to a 14 mL increase in stroke volume in the patients treated with 30 mg of pSDF-1 compared with a decrease of -11 mL in the placebo group (ΔSV = 25 mL, P = 0.09). In addition, the 30 mg-treated cohort exhibited a trend towards improvement in NTproBNP compared with placebo at 12 months (-784 pg/mL, P = 0.23).

Conclusions: The blinded placebo-controlled STOP-HF trial demonstrated the safety of a single endocardial administration of pSDF-1 but failed to demonstrate its primary endpoint of improved composite score at 4 months after treatment. Through a pre-specified analysis the STOP-HF trial demonstrates the potential for attenuating LV remodelling and improving EF in high-risk ischaemic cardiomyopathy. The safety profile supports repeat dosing with pSDF-1 and the degree of left ventricular remodelling suggests the potential for improved outcomes in larger future trials.

Keywords: Chronic heart failure; Endogenous tissue repair; Gene therapy; Stem cell homing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / administration & dosage*
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / adverse effects
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / genetics
  • Chronic Disease
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia / pathology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / therapy*
  • Stroke Volume / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Remodeling / physiology


  • Chemokine CXCL12