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Reuters Health Information (2004-11-09): UK scientists seek liver failure patients for stem cell therapy


UK scientists seek liver failure patients for stem cell therapy

Last Updated: 2004-11-09 12:17:33 -0400 (Reuters Health)

LONDON (Agence de Presse Medicale for Reuters Health) - British scientists said on Tuesday they were looking for patients with chronic liver failure to take part in a trial of stem cell therapy.

The team, from Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital, said injecting the patient's own blood-derived stem cells directly into the hepatic artery might improve liver function by getting the stem cells to repopulate the liver.

Professor Nagy Habib, trial leader, said in a statement: "Although this is still very early days for the trial, it could be a first step to providing a new treatment option for those suffering from chronic liver failure."

The researchers said the trial would involve 13 hospital visits over 2 months for various procedures, including leukapheresis to separate the stem cells from the white blood cells. Patients would have to visit the hospital every 2 weeks for liver function, kidney and blood clotting tests.

Dr. Habib was not immediately available to explain why he thinks stem cell therapy will be effective against liver failure or whether there are any safety concerns.

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