Scientists to start new clinical trial that will grow tiny livers in patients
The procedure, which has been successful in mice, pigs and dogs, involves injecting healthy liver cells into a patient’s lymph nodes. These cells then multiply in the patient, growing into tiny functional versions of larger organs. This is an intriguing treatment for liver disease that has so far improved liver function in treated animals.
The clinical trial focuses on using lymph nodes in patients to create bioreactors that allow new livers to grow. Not only would this give people dealing with liver disease more options, but it would also reduce the pressure on an already overloaded transplant system.New AtlasAccording to the report, participants will be divided into three main groups.
The groups will then receive different doses, including 50 million, 150 million or 250 million cells. The current belief is that a patient will grow a tiny liver for every 50 million cells. As a result, participants who received the highest dose had the potential to grow as many as five tiny livers in their bodies. If successful, this could be a “game-changing” treatment for end-stage liver disease.
However, LyGenesis also needs to provide immunosuppressive drugs to patients on the basis of cell injection. This will prevent their body from reacting badly to the new cells and attacking them. LyGenesis also announced that it is working with another company called iTolerance to eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs. However, it’s unclear when exactly this research will allow them to do so.
Until then, participants in clinical trials of new liver disease treatments will need to receive suppressive drugs. From here, it’s just a matter of waiting to see how livers grow, or whether they grow in humans. Likewise, if the trial proves successful, it could open new doors in how liver disease can be treated. The trial began soon and is hoped to be completed within two years.