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November 16, 2011

Implanted liver cells acted like a temporary liver to save a boys life

BBC News - Doctors in London say they have cured a baby boy of a life-threatening disease which was destroying his liver. They implanted cells which acted like a temporary liver, allowing the damaged organ to recover.

A virus had damaged his liver causing it to fail.

Instead of going on a waiting list for a transplant, doctors injected donor liver cells into his abdomen.

These processed toxins and produced vital proteins - acting rather like a temporary liver.

The cells were coated with a chemical found in algae which prevented them from being attacked by the immune system.

After two weeks his own liver had begun to recover.




The question now is whether the technique could be used to benefit other patients with acute liver failure. The team at King's is urging caution - a large clinical trial is needed to test the effectiveness of the technique.

A key benefit over a liver transplant is that Iyaad will not need to take anti-rejection drugs known as immuno suppressants.

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