TGFβ inhibitors as potential treatment for acute liver injury

17th August 2018

Dr Tom Bird has published a study showing that a cancer drug is able to prevent the spread of senescence in a mouse model of acute liver injury. The drug could potentially be used as an alternative to liver transplantation for patients with sudden liver failure. The option of such a medication-based treatment instead of transplantation would improve the lives of patients and also reduce the demand for livers for transplantation.

Tom states 'While transplant offers incredible life-saving opportunities for these patients, it does mean a major operation and a lifetime of medication and with around 300 adults and children in the UK in need of a liver transplant at any one time, it cannot be guaranteed.'

The work was published in Science Translational Medicine:

TGFbeta inhibitors paper

Reference: Bird et al. TGFβ inhibition restores a regenerative response in acute liver injury by suppressing paracrine senescence. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Aug 15;10(454). pii: eaan1230. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan1230

The study was covered by numerous media outlets, including BBC News (Liver transplants 'may be unnecessary thanks to new drug treatment'), The Scotsman (New drug treatment could reduce liver transplants) and BBC Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs programme, Today (click image below to hear the interview). The article was also highlighted in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology  (Senescence prevents regeneration after acute liver injury) and has been recommended on F1000Prime as being of special significance: F1000

Tom Bird Today programme Aug 2018

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