Liver transplants can soon become from the past after scientists have discovered a new type of cell that may be able to regenerate damaged tissue in the liver.
Scientists at Kings College in London believe the new cells have the same characteristics as stem cells that can divide and develop into different types of cells and can be used to treat or prevent certain diseases.
Cells known as HHYPs are formed when the fetus develops in the uterus and occurs in small amounts in adults, and can develop into two main types of cells, namely liver cells and bile duct cells.
Dr. Tamir Rashid of the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at London Medical College said in an interview, "For the first time, we found that cells with characteristics similar to the actual stem cells may exist in the human liver, which in turn can provide a wide range of regenerative medicine applications for the treatment of liver disease.” “Now we need to work quickly to find a way to convert stem cells into HHYPs so we can transplant those cells in patients as desired.”
Liver disease is the fifth-largest disease in the world and the third most common cause of premature death.