Recent research has developed a new way of treating liver failure that could save the lives of thousands of patients on transplant waiting lists.
According to the researchers, the treatment includes insertion of stem cells into the damaged organ so that it is encouraged to repair itself and create new tissue that will allow patients to live long enough for a new organ to found and could even enable the liver to completely heal itself so a transplant is no longer needed.
Statistic says that more than 600 liver transplants are carried out each year but recent figures show that more than a fifth of patients die waiting because of high demand of the organ. The pioneering research, carried out at the Massachusetts General Hospital, could eliminate the need for such an operation.
The scientists found that they could encourage this natural tendency by inserting stem cells into the damaged livers of rats. They used Mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in the bone marrow.
Dr Martin Yarmush, who led the study published in the journal of the Public Library of Science, said: “We have identified a non-hepatic source of cells that can easily be expanded to the scale required for clinical application.”