In Japan, doctors succeeded in transmitting liver cells derived from embryonic stem cells to a newborn baby by signing a first. The baby with a problem in the liver was able to get rid of the problem thanks to the first treatment in the world.
Stem cells used for treatment in many areas were used for the liver treatment of a baby this time in Japan. The baby, which is still small for liver transplantation, was able to survive thanks to the liver cells derived from stem cells.
Doctors realized that the baby’s liver, which was born recently, suffers from urea cycle disorder, as it cannot break down toxic ammonia. This problem, which appeared in the liver of the baby, which was six days old, could be solved by liver transplantation. However, in order for organ transplantation to a baby, it must be at least 3 to 5 months old and reach a weight of 6 kilograms.
Doctors from the National Center for Child Health and Development in Japan signed a treatment that was tried for the first time to solve the problem until the baby grew up fit for organ transplantation. Doctors injected 190 million liver cells derived from embryonic stem cells into the baby. A treatment method which is a kind of “bridge treatment” was applied to the six-day-old baby for the first time in the world.
No increase in the ammonia concentration in the baby’s blood was observed after injecting liver cells from stem cells into the baby. The treatment ensures that the amount of ammonia in the blood does not increase until the baby has a liver transplant.
After the baby achieved body development, which could be a liver transplant, the liver from his father was transferred to the baby. The baby, whose gender was not disclosed, was discharged from the hospital after liver transplantation, six months after birth.
In the statement made by the institute where the treatment of the baby was carried out, the success of this study was said to be the world’s first clinical trial for patients with liver problems using human stem cells.
Stem cell therapy applied to the baby with liver disease was successful, but it also caused a discussion. Stem cells used in treatment are collected from fertilized eggs. Because the embryos from which stem cells were removed were later destroyed, some scientists said that the study did not comply with ethical rules.