London: An Indian-origin professor in UK will head the world`s first trial using liver stem cells that could avoid transplant surgery.Paediatric liver consultant Professor Anil Dhawan, who will head the trial at King`s College hospital, has described the use of stem cells to treat liver disease as an "excitingbreakthrough", The Daily Mail reported today.Doctors have developed a pioneering treatment for liver disease that could save hundreds of lives a year and avoid the need for transplant surgery, it said.Eighteen British children suffering from rare and life threatening liver conditions are to receive infusions of specially treated liver cells removed from the organs of deaddonors, the paper said.It said that doctors believe they will make vital stem cells - the building blocks of life - and repair the damaged organ."We have many very sick children and babies who need transplants. If we can cure them without a transplant that will a fantastic development."We have tried using ordinary liver cells with limited success, but is the first time a treatment has been developed that gets the liver to re-grow using stem cells," Dhawan was quoted as saying by the daily.
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