Cell Therapy for Advanced Liver Diseases: Repair or Rebuild.

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Advanced liver disease presents a significant worldwide health and economic burden and accounts for 3.5% of global mortality. When liver disease progresses to organ failure the only effective treatment is liver transplantation which requires lifelong immune suppression and brings associated risks. Furthermore, the shortage in suitable donor organs means patients may die waiting for a suitable transplant organ. Cell therapies have made their way from animal studies to a small number of early clinical trials. Here we discuss the current state of cell therapies for liver disease and the mechanism underpinning their actions to repair liver tissue or rebuild functional parenchyma, cellular therapies that are on the clinical horizon and challenges to be overcome before routine clinical use is a possibility.

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