You are hereJuly 9, 2012
Stem Cells Improve Liver Function in Cirrhosis Patient
PBC is a chronic, progressive disease that affects one in 1,000 women over the age of 40. Approximately a third of those who suffer from PBC and its related conditions do not respond well to Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) treatment, currently the only FDA-approved standard medical treatment for the condition. Many ultimately require a liver transplant.
The study details the case of a 58-year-old woman suffering from PBC who developed an incarcerated hernia and uncontrolled hydrothorax after undergoing UDCA treatment. One week after completing two stem cell transplantations with no observed adverse effects, she showed improvement in her liver function and general condition. After her release from the hospital she continued to receive twice-daily UDCA treatments. Six months later, she was still improving, her doctors report.
While the researchers say additional clinical trials are needed before stem cells can become an accepted therapy for cirrhosis, Jin-hui Yang, director of the Department of Hepatology in the 2nd Affiliated Hospital, said, "Given the severity of liver cirrhosis and its related conditions and the limited number of options available to treat those who suffer from it, this finding represents an important, potentially significant breakthrough."