May 29, 2024


Another advance on the adult stem cell front comes from the University of Dusseldorf, in Germany, where doctors have found that bone marrow stem cells are a big help in dealing with advanced liver cancer. Some patients are unable to undergo surgery because removing a fast-growing cancer would leave them with too little liver to support the body. In this experiment, which was reported in the journal Radiology, six patients underwent a standard treatment, which involves diverting the blood supply from the cancerous part to the healthy part. Seven others had the standard treatment plus an injection of liver stem cells harvested from the patient’s own bone marrow.

The result? The addition of the stem cells meant that patients’ livers grew twice as fast and that they were able to undergo surgery 18 days earlier. The doctors were elated. “Based on our results, we also believe that adult stem cell administration may be a promising therapy for regenerating livers damaged by other chronic and acute diseases,” said co-author Dr Jan Schulte am Esch.