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Cell Prolif. 2008 Feb;41 Suppl 1:115-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2008.00491.x.

Long-term clinical results of autologous infusion of mobilized adult bone marrow derived CD34+ cells in patients with chronic liver disease.

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Department of Surgery, Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine, London, UK.


Evidence is growing in support of the role of stem cells as an attractive alternative in treatment of liver diseases. Recently, we have demonstrated the feasibility and safety of infusing CD34(+) adult stem cells; this was performed on five patients with chronic liver disease. Here, we present the results of long-term follow-up of these patients. Between 1 x 10(6) and 2 x 10(8) CD34(+) cells were isolated and injected into the portal vein or hepatic artery. The patients were monitored for side effects, toxicity and changes in clinical, haematological and biochemical parameters; they were followed up for 12-18 months. All patients tolerated the treatment protocol well without any complications or side effects related to the procedure, also there were no side effects noted on long-term follow-up. Four patients showed an initial improvement in serum bilirubin level, which was maintained for up to 6 months. There was marginal increase in serum bilirubin in three of the patients at 12 months, while the fourth patient's serum bilirubin increased only at 18 months post-infusion. Computed tomography scan and serum alpha-foetoprotein monitoring showed absence of focal lesions. The study indicated that the stem cell product used was safe in the short and over long term, by absence of tumour formation. The investigation also illustrated that the beneficial effect seemed to last for around 12 months. This trial shows that stem cell therapy may have potential as a possible future therapeutic protocol in liver regeneration.

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