Potential treatment for liver failure

Researchers from the Genome Institute of Singapore, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Stanford University’s School of Medicine created large quantities of liver cells which, when grafted into mice, improved their short-term survival rate.

The study, which began in 2013, will need 20-30 years before the treatment is available to the market, as said by Assistant Professor Kyle Loh from the Stanford University School of Medicine, who is a co-senior author of the study.  Much hope is resting on this study as currently, end-stage liver failure can be treated only by liver transplants. Patients suffer vicious symptoms such as jaundice, frequent bleeding, and even coma.

Reliance on liver transplants proves unsuitable due to the scarcity of liver transplants, with a million patients dying worldwide each year as they wait for prospective donors. Hence, injecting these patients with liver cells keeps them healthy while waiting.

The manufacture of liver cells from human embryonic stem cells is rather promising as human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning that they can turn into any cell in your body. Thus, this paves the way for future cell-based therapy.

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