Therapeutic application of stem cells in gastroenterology: An up-date

Patrizia Burra, Debora Bizzaro, Rachele Ciccocioppo, Fabio Marra, Anna Chiara Piscaglia, Laura Porretti, Antonio Gasbarrini, Francesco Paolo Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adult stem cells represent the self-renewing progenitors of numerous body tissues, and they are currently classified according to their origin and differentiation ability. In recent years, the research on stem cells has expanded enormously and holds therapeutic promises for many patients suffering from currently disabling diseases. This paper focuses on the possible use of stem cells in the two main clinical settings in gastroenterology, i.e., hepatic and intestinal diseases, which have a strong impact on public health worldwide. Despite encouraging results obtained in both regenerative medicine and immune-mediated conditions, furthe0072 studies are needed to fully understand the biology of stem cells and carefully assess their putative oncogenic properties. Moreover, the research on stem cells arouses fervent ethical, social and political debate. The Italian Society of Gastroenterology sponsored a workshop on stem cells held in Verona during the XVI Congress of the Federation of Italian Societies of Digestive Diseases (March 6-9, 2010). Here, we report on the issues discussed, including liver and intestinal diseases that may benefit from stem cell therapy, the biology of hepatic and intestinal tissue repair, and stem cell usage in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3870-3880
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 2011


  • Cell therapy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Liver disease
  • Regenerative me-dicine
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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