【Current status of liver diseases and potential of cell treatment】
The number of patients with hepatitis or liver cirrhosis due to hepatic virus infection is increasing steadily and seriously ill patients die every year. Although liver transplantation is the only effective treatment for such diseases, the lack of available organs is a serious issue worldwide and therefore many patients cannot undergo the transplantation. Stem cell infusion has been hoped to become an alternative treatment for patients with liver cirrhosis because problems of donor shortage and immune rejection can be avoided by using autologous stem cells.
【Institutes conducting with animal experiments or clinical trials】
◆ Yamaguchi University ◆ Kyushu University
【Case : Yamaguchi University】
Infusion of bone marrow-derived cells have been reported to improve liver fibrosis in liver cirrhosis model mice. In addition, clinical trials aimed at recovering liver function by infusing autologous bone marrow-derived cells have been conducted in patients with liver cirrhosis, and the effectiveness of cell infusion treatment have been confirmed. Based on these studies, safety and effectiveness of infusion of cultured bone marrow-derived cells are being investigated in recent clinical trial. In this trial, autologous bone marrow-derived cells including mesenchymal stem cells are isolated from liver cirrhosis patients, processed for about three weeks, and then infused intravenously back to the patients. Regenerative therapy using mesenchymal stem cells is expected as an effective treatment for liver cirrhosis.