Mesenchymal stem cell therapy in decompensated liver cirrhosis: a long-term follow-up analysis of the randomized controlled clinical trial

Link to article at PubMed

Hepatol Int. 2021 Dec;15(6):1431-1441. doi: 10.1007/s12072-021-10199-2. Epub 2021 Nov 29.


BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) infusion was reported to improve liver function in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis (DLC); however, whether the medication can improve outcome of these patients is poorly understood.

METHODS: This prospective, open-labeled, randomized controlled study enrolled 219 patients with HBV-related DLC who were divided into control group (n = 111) and umbilical cord-derived MSC (UC-MSC)-treated group (n = 108), then all of them received a follow-up check from October 2010 to October 2017. The treated patients received three times of UC-MSC infusions at 4-week intervals plus conventional treatment that was only used for control group. The overall survival rate and HCC-free survival rate were calculated as primary endpoints and the liver function and adverse events associated with the medication were also evaluated.

RESULTS: During the follow-up check period from 13 to 75th months, there was a significantly higher overall survival rate in the treated group than the control group, while the difference of the hepatocellular carcinoma event-free survival rate between the treated and control groups was not observed during the 75-month follow-up. UC-MSC treatment markedly improved liver function, as indicated by the levels of serum albumin, prothrombin activity, cholinesterase, and total bilirubin during 48 weeks of follow-up. No significant side effects or treatment-related complications were observed in the UC-MSC group.

CONCLUSIONS: Therapy of UC-MSC is not only well tolerated, but also significantly improves long-term survival rate, as well as the liver function in patients with HBV-related DLC. UC-MSC medication, therefore, might present a novel therapeutic approach for the disease.

PMID:34843069 | PMC:PMC8651584 | DOI:10.1007/s12072-021-10199-2

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