Liver failure remains one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. All published studies about stem cell therapy at present are limited by small patient numbers and by the design as pilot safety and feasibility studies. Various experimental studies provided evidence that the infusion or injection of stem or progenitor cells may reduce liver fibrosis. Moreover, predominantly bone marrow-derived cells were shown to augment liver function, thereby providing a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of liver failure. This article summarizes the current experimental and clinical evidence for a potential role for stem cells in liver regeneration. Special attention will be given to patents with focus on use of stem cells in chronic liver disease models. Many questions still need to be answered, such as what the current status are of phases I, II, III studies regarding stem cell therapy. We describe the best available evidence from systematic reviews, randomized controlled studies and observational studies where appropriate. Data from literatures suggest that in chronic liver diseases, the future of stem cell therapy is still uncertain. Special attention will be given to patents with focus on use of stem cells in chronic liver disease models. Many technical questions have yet to be answered before stem cell therapy can be applied to its fullest potential in the clinic.
Keywords: Animal studies, chronic liver disease, clinical trials, level of evidence, types of stem cells used in research, HUMAN UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD STEM CELLS, HUMAN UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD STEM CELLS - MESENCHYMAL CELLS (HUCB-MSCS), bone marrow-derived cells, liver fibrosis, liver regeneration
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