Imperial College London Centenary
About Imperial
About ImperialContacts/getting hereAlumniResearchCoursesAbout this site
Select your text size  for this site here: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Extra Large Text

Note: Some of the graphical elements of this site are only visible to browsers that support accepted web standards. The content of this site is, however, accessible to any browser or Internet device.


Chronic liver failure to be treated using stem cell therapy

See also...
External Sites:
-Hammersmith Hospital
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For immediate release
Tuesday 9 November 2004

Scientists believe it may be possible to use stem cell therapy to help patients with chronic liver failure.

The team from Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital believe that by injecting patients with their own stem cells their liver function may improve.

By injecting the patient's own stem cells, or blood derived stem cells, directly into the bloodstream, the researchers hope they may be able to improve the function of the liver by getting the stem cells to repopulate the liver. In patients with chronic liver failure, the liver has lost cells reducing the effectiveness of the liver, and leading to disease and ill health.

Professor Nagy Habib, from Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital, and trial leader comments: "Although this is still very early days for the trial, it could be a first step to providing a new treatment option for those suffering from chronic liver failure."

The researchers are currently looking for patients suffering from chronic liver failure to take part in the trial. This will involve 13 hospital visits over a period of two months for various procedures, including scans and a procedure called leukapheris.

Leukapheris is a procedure in which blood is taken from the patient, and separated into its component parts. The white blood cells are taken and the stem cells separated from them. The red blood cells are then returned to the body through the arm, while the stem cells are injected into the hepatic artery, an artery in the liver.

Patients will have to visit the hospital every two weeks to test the function of their liver, kidneys and how well the blood is clotting.


For further information please contact:

Tony Stephenson
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6712
Mobile: +44 (0)7753 739766

Notes to editors:

1. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.