Cell therapy for advanced liver diseases: Repair or rebuild

Benjamin J. Dwyer, Mark T. Macmillan, Paul N. Brennan, Stuart J. Forbes (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


Advanced liver disease presents a significant worldwide health and economic burden and accounts for 3.5% of global mortality. When liver disease progresses to organ failure the only effective treatment is liver transplantation, which necessitates lifelong immunosuppression and carries associated risks. Furthermore, the shortage of suitable donor organs means patients may die waiting for a suitable transplant organ. Cell therapies have made their way from animal studies to a small number of early clinical trials. Herein, we review the current state of cell therapies for liver disease and the mechanisms underpinning their actions (to repair liver tissue or rebuild functional parenchyma). We also discuss cellular therapies that are on the clinical horizon and challenges that must be overcome before routine clinical use is a possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number1
Early online date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Acute liver failure
  • Cell therapy
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver regeneration
  • Metabolic liver disease
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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