Viral Liver Failure Avoided By Injection

by Malc on December 5, 2011

Liver inferior

In world first, a baby boy in London was saved from death due to a virus affecting his liver, by having donor liver cells injected into his abdomen. These injected cells were able to perform many of the functions his stressed liver could not, enabling him to live long enough for his body to fight off the infection.

The liver cells were treated with an extract from algae to delay the body’s immune system in attacking the cells. After two weeks his own liver had started its recovery, and begun to resume its usual activity. Six months later his liver function was normal. Previously, the poor lad was on dialysis treatment and had to breathe with the help of a machine.

This is an incredible achievement and no doubt more trials are planned to try to extend this treatment method to other similar situations.

The alternative treatment – a transplant – would have been a very much less attractive option. This choice was less invasive, enabled near enough complete recovery, and did not rely on the hope that a liver donor was available.

Potentially, a huge step forward.

Enhanced by Zemanta

  • James Pailly

    Congratulations to that boy, and hooray for science!

Previous post: Identifying the Precise Genome of the Black Death

Next post: Cancer Cure in Sight in 5-10 Years