Hepatic failure is a frequent disease, with chronic liver failure ranking fifth among the mortality factors, as noted by the World Health Organization.
While there is no regular cure for hepatitis and no completely effective treatment, the threats resulting from cirrhosis, and various hepatitis strands are best combated by supporting the liver with infusion of cultured liver cells into patient's portal vein system.
Cultured hepatocytes and hepatoblasts (liver cells) have principal advantages in comparison with mature hepatocytes taken during donor liver transplantations. Liver cells taken from such donor livers have as usual low regenerative capacity and can not provide proper support for recipient's liver and body.
At the Hepatology department of the Institute of Longevity and Preventive Medicine transplantation of cultured liver cells has been elaborated and clinically approved for the first time.
This procedure has shown great promise for the treatment of many liver diseases now treated definitively only with whole liver organ transplantation. Organ transplantation is extremely expensive and involves major surgery, requires the use of scarce donor organs, and life-long immunosuppression.
Liver transplantation has all risks inherent to any major surgery, with risks for patient's life as well as for engrafted liver organ. For example risks of acute failure of transplanted liver organ because of postsurgery complications. Cultured cell transplantation is a simpler, safer, less costly procedure.
It is an advanced treatment for many liver diseases and can also be used as a technique to sustain patients with acute or advanced chronic liver failure, i.e. this therapy can "buy" valuable time acting as a bridge for liver transplantation or bridge to recovery in patients with end-stage or advanced liver disease.
Acute liver failure, liver based metabolic diseases and chronic liver diseases including liver cirrhosis are successfully treated with cultured liver cells.
In 2002 a review written by David A. Shafritz and Mariana D. Dabeva with impressive headline "Liver Stem/Progenitor Cells and their Transplantation: from Fantasy to Reality as We Enter the New Millennium" was published in The Einstein Quarterly Journal of Biology and Medicine (2002; 19:20-32):
This review predicts success of treatment for liver diseases with liver stem cell transplantation in the nearest future.
However it became the reality by 2002 in Russia due to multiple research and clinical works. This success is based on multiple experimental and clinical researches made by Russian research workers and clinicians in 1963-2002.