The Daily Mail reports that Pediatric liver consultant, Professor Anil Dhawan would be heading the world’s first trial using liver stem cells at King’s College Hospital, London. The doctors have developed a unique treatment for liver disease, a stem cell injection that could well save hundreds of lives and avoid the need for transplants and surgeries.
The clinical trial would involve:
- 18 British children suffering from rare, life threatening liver conditions
- These children would receive infusions of treated liver cells from organs of dead donors.
Professor Etienne Sokal at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium has developed the new treatment. The treatment is expected to work since it is based on the observation that stem cells are better tolerated than organ transplants. They also require fewer immuno-suppression drugs, thus reducing risk of rejection and infection. Early trials in the laboratory have been successful and hence they are proceeding to start human trails, says Professor Sokal.
Doctors would first take a small amount of cells from a donor liver and grow millions of liver cells. These new liver cells are special in that they can generate stem cells when infused into a patient’s liver.
Professor Dhawan is quoted in the Daily Mail,
We have many very sick children and babies who need transplants. If we cure them without a transplant that will be a fantastic development. We have tried using ordinary liver cells with limited success, but this is the first time a treatment has been developed that gets the liver to regrow using stem cells.
Children participating in the trial are expected to show improvement in a matter of months, and even come off medicines and therapy, if the trail and treatment goes on well.
Every year large number of liver patients dies waiting for an organ transplant. Those who are lucky might get a transplant but have to deal with risks of organ rejection that would invariably put them back on the liver transplant list. Many countries, including the UK are facing an epidemic of liver disease and most of this is due to alcohol abuse and rise in obesity.
Hopefully, the new stem cell jab would provide a viable treatment option for those afflicted with liver diseases.
- Jonathan Tilly’s Study Demonstrates Creation Of New Egg Cells From Ovarian Stem Cells
- Stem Cells Repair Heart Attack Damage: Study by Eduardo Marban et al.
- Mesoblast – Given A Go-Ahead For Phase-II Stem Cell Trial for Heart Failure in Europe
- Have Stem Cells–Will Travel
- Use Of Stem Cells To Create Healthy Sperms, Study In Mice By Japanese Researchers