Stem cells have an innate property that attracts them to inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that stem cells can regenerate damaged or diseased tissues, reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system promoting better health and quality of life.
Although certain parts of the liver have been shown to able to naturally regenerate, the only proven treatment for end stage liver disease is a full liver transplant. Unfortunately, this treatment is extremely expensive, donors are hard to come by, and there is a risk of rejection of the organ by the patient’s body.
Stem cells have the unique ability to morph or “differentiate” into different type of cells within the body. In this way, stem cells can be used to seek out damaged liver tissue and regenerate the organ itself. Although available data is limited and tests are still ongoing, a study ran by PubMed in 2013 used 11 clinical trials to test the use of stem cells on damaged liver patients. The independent trials showed that not only were stem cells a safe form of intravenous treatment for liver failure, but all of the trials reported positive results. The results ranged from improvements to quality of life and quantitatively improving liver function, to reducing morbidity and mortality. The studies showed patients to have a “significant decrease in MELD score”. The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, or MELD score, measures the risk of mortality in patients with liver disease.