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Liver Regeneration Doubled with Adult Stem Cell Therapy

In The News, March 26, 2007

A chance to regenerate healthy liver tissue using adult stem cells could help patients in the future thanks to new research.

The latest issue of Radiology has highlighted the achievement of a team of German scientists who used adult bone marrow stem cells to regenerate human liver tissue.

For the sake of improving recovery, the findings could be crucial say the researchers from Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf.

The procedure could facilitate surgery to remove any cancerous growth that previously would have been impossible if the cells can indeed enable patients to grow more healthy cells in the liver.

"Our study suggests that liver stem cells harvested from the patient's own bone marrow can further augment and accelerate the liver's natural capacity to regenerate itself," explained radiology professor, Gunther Fürst.

The results are said to be significantly improved if the new techniques is utilized in conjunction with an existing treatment called portal vein embolization (PVE).

PVE stimulates quicker growth by diverting blood to healthy tissue in the liver.

Combining PVE and stem cell techniques would allow a patient to have enough healthy liver tissues to survive surgery when removing cancer that is spreading a rapid rate.

13 patients were included in the initial study. All of them would not have been able to undergo typical treatment since the central liver malignancies were so large.

Six patients were given the combined treatment while seven patients were given the traditional PVE treatment. The group receiving the combined treatment had double the amount of healthy liver tissue.

Although the study was quite recently completed, more are already underway in an effort to eventually bring the therapy to market.


 

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