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Open Access Management of Liver Failure: From Transplantation to Cell-Based Therapy

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The severe shortage of deceased donor organs has driven a search for alternative methods of treating liver failure. In this context, cell-based regenerative medicine is emerging as a promising interdisciplinary field of tissue repair and restoration, able to contribute to improving health in a minimally invasive fashion. Several cell types have allowed long-term survival in experimental models of liver injury, but their therapeutic potential in humans should be regarded with deep caution, because few clinical trials are currently available and the number of patients enrolled so far is too small to assess benefits versus risks. This review summarizes the current literature on the physiological role of endogenous stem cells in liver regeneration and on the therapeutic benefits of exogenous stem cell administration with specific emphasis on the potential clinical uses of mesenchymal stem cells. Moreover, critical points that still need clarification, such as the exact identity of the stem-like cell population exerting the beneficial effects, as well as the limitations of stem cell-based therapies, are discussed.

Keywords: Bone marrow-derived stem cells; Endothelial progenitor cells; Fetal liver stem cells; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Intrahepatic stem cells; Mesenchymal stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The importance of translating original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell therapy and its application to human diseases to society has led to the formation of the journal Cell Medicine. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, the same rigorous peer review will be applied to articles published in Cell Medicine. Articles may deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, and stem cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers may also be featured if they have a translational interest. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Medicine will report on relevant technological advances and their potential for translational medicine. Cell Medicine will be a purely online Open Access journal. There will therefore be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow your work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle you to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of your manuscript.

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