In a recent study published in Cell Transplantation, adipose tissue stem cells were successfully used to produce liver cells.
This could potentially be a major medical advancement for people who suffer from liver failure.
Approximately 6,300 liver transplants are performed each year. There are about 16,000 people on a waiting list. Sadly, over 1,400 end up dying because a liver was unable to be found and transplanted in time.
Even when people receive a liver transplant, complications are common. The body often rejects new organs, so patients end up having to take immunosuppressant drugs to lower the risk of losing the new liver, and possibly, their life.
From the recently published study, research scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine may now be able to supply liver failure patients with the cells they need to regenerate their own, brand new liver. Since the new liver tissue is made from the patient’s own stem cells, it’s highly unlikely that the body will reject it, eliminating the need for immunosuppressant drugs.
In the study, scientists isolated fat stem cells taken from human adipose tissue via liposuction. The adipose stem cells were then placed in mice, where they produced liver-like cells.
A healthy liver takes care of the body’s chemistry. It filters out toxins and waste products. If it wasn’t for the liver, the body would become toxic, and the person would feel ill and eventually die.
What is so fascinating about the liver is that it regenerates itself over time, unless it is severely damaged from chronic alcoholism or viral hepatitis. This is what causes many people to end up with liver failure, thus creating the need for a new one.
With the potential discovered through this new medical study, it may be possible for liver patients to be cured through a simple liposuction procedure to harvest their adipose tissue. Once collected, the tissue will be processed to isolate the stem cells, which takes about nine days.
This is usually a sufficient time frame to save a patient’s life, as many have a up to a few weeks before they end up dying, if no liver is available for transplant.
Liver disease is not as rare as many people think. Even if a patient isn’t a chronic alcoholic or suffers from viral hepatitis, acetaminophen and poisonous mushrooms can also lead to liver failure. In fact, acetaminophen related liver damage claims about 500 lives a year and harms many more.
With adipose tissue stem cells, people may soon be able to repair their liver and save their life. Physicians can provide this safety net to patients through using our ATGRAFT tissue preservation program. By offering stem cell and fat storage services, patients are now able to secure protection from future liver disease as well as many other health problems.
Stem cell research continues to identify new and amazing uses for adipose derived stem cells. This is an excellent reason for everyone to consider having their body fat and adult stem cells stored cryogenically.
Offer your patients more by bringing your practice to the next level. Find out how to enroll in the ATGRAFT program as a Network Provider here.
Written by John DiFolco.