Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Using Viral Therapy To Reverse Liver Disease

XTALKS VITALS NEWS

Liver Failure

The viral therapy works to reverse the continuous scarring of the liver, known as liver fibrosis, which eventually results in organ failure.

Share this!

June 6, 2016 | by Sarah Massey, M.Sc.

Researchers have used a modified virus to help repair damaged hepatocytes in mice with liver disease. If it proves to be similarly effective in humans, the technique could be a much-needed treatment option for thousands of patients diagnosed with liver disease.

In the US alone, over 35,000 people die of liver disease every year. The viral therapy works to reverse the continuous scarring of the liver, known as liver fibrosis, which eventually results in organ failure.

Liver disease is often caused by exposure of hepatocytes to alcohol, or stress caused by disease. As healthy hepatocytes are damaged and die, myofibroblasts take their place by generating collagen-based scar tissue. Once the liver reaches a critical number of hepatocytes, it is unable to perform its functions and goes into liver failure.

Dr. Holger Willenbring and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, developed a new technique whereby myofibroblasts could be transformed into hepatocytes using viral therapy. The researchers used a modified adeno-associated virus to deliver liver transcription factors into the myofibroblast cells of liver-damaged mice. After infection with the genetically modified virus, the transcription factor genes are integrated into the host cell’s genome, inducing the cells to transform into hepatocytes.



The researchers found that the viral therapy reduced the collagen content of the mice livers by about one third, as well as increased the number of healthy liver cells. “We think the combination of making more hepatocytes and reducing collagen is the most promising approach to treating liver fibrosis,” said Willenbring. Tweet: Making hepatocytes and reducing collagen to treat #liverfibrosis http://ctt.ec/R2d9V+

According to Vanessa Hebditch, director of communications and policy at the British Liver Trust, the research could have exciting implications for the future treatment of liver disease. “The vector used in these studies is one that has already been used in the treatment of other human diseases so this is a promising approach.”

Adeno-associated viral therapy has been tested in multiple clinical trials for diseases like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and retinal eye conditions. Willenbring expects that it will be five years or more before the viral therapy can be tested in human liver disease patients.


Keywords: Liver Disease, Viral Therapy, Clinical Trial


| NEXT ARTICLE | MORE NEWS | BLOGS | VIDEOS | POLLS & QUIZZES | WEBINARS |

Share this with your colleagues!

MORE NEWS
Exclusion Criteria for Clinical Trials Poses Major Barrier to Patient Enrollment

August 17, 2017 - UT Southwestern researchers say that clinical investigators continue to increase the number of exclusion criteria, preventing more patients from participating in clinical trials.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News


Targeting Cellular Nitrogen Metabolism Could Offer a New Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

August 17, 2017 - An enzyme involved in regulating the amount of nitrogen in the cell could be a new drug target for pancreatic cancer, according to researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Featured In: Life Science News


Regeneron’s Drug for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Fails in Phase III Clinical Trial

August 16, 2017 - Biotechnology company Regeneron has announced it will not continue development of its antibody drug, suptavumab, after a failure in a Phase III clinical trial.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News


LEAVE A COMMENT
 
  
THE XTALKS VITALS INDUSTRY BLOG

One Patient’s Perspective on Clinical Trials

REGISTER FOR THESE WEBINARS

Planning and Conducting Trials of the Latest Immunotherapies


ISO 13485:2016 for Medical Device Manufacturers: Ensuring a Smooth Transition through Effective Preparation


Medical Devices: Reviewing Regulatory Changes in the US and EU


Moving Beyond Regulatory and Performance Metrics in Starting Clinical Trials


Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.