Stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising strategy for cardiac and vascular repair. The ultimate goal is to rebuild functional myocardium by transplanting exogenous stem cells or by activating native stem cells to induce endogenous repair. CS/PCs (cardiac stem/progenitor cells) are one type of adult stem cell with the potential to differentiate into cardiac lineages (cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells). iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) also have the capacity to differentiate into necessary cells to rebuild injured cardiac tissue. Both types of stem cells have brought promise for cardiac repair. The present review summarizes recent advances in cardiac cell therapy based on these two cell sources and discusses the advantages and limitations of each candidate. We conclude that, although both types of stem cells can be considered for autologous transplantation with promising outcomes in animal models, CS/PCs have advanced more in their clinical application because iPSCs and their derivatives possess inherent obstacles for clinical use. Further studies are needed to move cell therapy forward for the treatment of heart disease.

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