asked Her Majesty's Government:
What assessment they have made of the use of stem cell therapy in cases of liver cancer, reported by surgeons at the University of Düsseldorf in Radiology; and what implications their research has for liver cancer patients in the United Kingdom; and [HL3029]
What research is being done in the United Kingdom into the use of stem cell therapy in cases of liver cancer. [HL3030]
We are aware of the recent report of clinical research at the University of Dusseldorf on a small number of patients, which suggested that the use of bone marrow stem cells could enhance current treatments of patients with liver cancer. However, as with all clinical research, these studies must be extended to larger numbers of patients and replicated by other clinical research groups before we can make any firmer conclusions about the safety and efficacy of the technique.
The Government are fully committed to exploring the promise of stem cells in all areas of medicine, including cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Despite rapid progress in this area, much more laboratory and clinical research, in both stem cells and other areas of medicine, must be carried out before we can see benefits to patients. That is why we have doubled our levels of support for stem cell research to £100 million for the period 2006-07 and 2008-09.