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Open Access Improving the Techniques for Human Hepatocyte Transplantation: Report From a Consensus Meeting in London

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On September 6 and 7, 2009 a meeting was held in London to identify and discuss what are perceived to be current roadblocks to effective hepatocyte transplantation as it is currently practiced in the clinics and, where possible, to offer suggestions to overcome the blocks and improve the outcomes for this cellular therapy. Present were representatives of most of the active clinical hepatocyte transplant programs along with other scientists who have contributed substantial basic research to this field. Over the 2-day sessions based on the experience of the participants, numerous roadblocks or challenges were identified, including the source of cells for the transplants and problems with tracking cells following transplantation. Much of the discussion was focused on methods to improve engraftment and proliferation of donor cells posttransplantation. The group concluded that, for now, parenchymal hepatocytes isolated from donor livers remain the best cell source for transplantation. It was reported that investigations with other cell sources, including stem cells, were at the preclinical and early clinical stages. Numerous methods to modulate the immune reaction and vascular changes that accompany hepatocyte transplantation were proposed. It was agreed that, to obtain sufficient levels of repopulation of liver with donor cells in patients with metabolic liver disease, some form of liver preconditioning would likely be required to enhance the engraftment and/or proliferation of donor cells. It was reported that clinical protocols for preconditioning by hepatic irradiation, portal vein embolization, and surgical resection had been developed and that clinical studies using these protocols would be initiated in the near future. Participants concluded that sharing information between the groups, including standard information concerning the quality and function of the transplanted cells prior to transplantation, clinical information on outcomes, and standard preconditioning protocols, would help move the field forward and was encouraged.

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Keywords: Engraftment; Hepatocyte transplantation; Metabolic liver disease; Radiation; Stem cell

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College London School of Medicine at King’s College Hospital, London, UK

Publication date: 2012-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles 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, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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