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COVID-19 information

The Advanced Therapy team is supporting critical care during COVID-19 which means less time is available for research duties.

The liver portfolio has seen a reduction of face to face patient visits and clinic slots due to social distancing and the need to protect our vulnerable patients.

Follow up calls to patients has increased. During calls, nurses discuss how patients are feeling and any possible side effects they may be experiencing. Some patients still require trial visits to be in person due to monitoring (such as blood pressure readings).

The number of patients recruited to studies has reduced due to the pandemic.

The Liver Research team has delivered clinical research for over 30 years. The experienced team of world class clinicians, research nurses and administrative staff supports the delivery of academic and commercial trials to benefit patients.

Working across all clinical trial phases, the team provides treatment in disease areas where there might not be a licensed treatment or where licensed drugs may have limited effectiveness. These trials may include:

  • new treatments to prevent liver scarring
  • ways to reduce bleeding and the enlargement of veins in the gullet
  • ways to reduce cancer growth

The team contributed to a groundbreaking liver transplant research program, where the VITTAL study showed that a liver perfusion machine could mean donor livers that would have previously been rejected could be used. Being able to use these livers could save more lives and reduce liver transplant waiting lists.

Advanced therapy research

Advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) is a new class of biological medicine usually based on genes, cells or tissues. The Advanced Therapy Research team is part of the Midlands and Wales Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre (MW-ATTC). We setup unique and innovative research trials across a range of specialities including:

  • melanoma
  • ovarian cancer
  • critical leg ischaemia
  • inflammatory diseases

We are also involved in education programs via the MW-ATTC website.

Common conditions and trial topics

Our common conditions include:

  • non-alcohol related fatty liver disease leading to cirrhosis
  • swollen veins (varices) in the gullet or inside the stomach which develop when the liver is not working properly
  • autoimmune conditions such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) or primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). Bile is unable to flow freely in the biliary tree in the liver and this can lead to widespread inflammation and scarring (fibrosis)
  • infections that cause liver inflammation and damage (viral hepatitis), mainly due to hepatitis B and C. Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) a chronic disorder where the body’s immune system attacks its own liver cells
  • liver cancer (mainly hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • neuroendocrine tumours which might grow in the:
    • gullet
    • stomach
    • small or large bowel
    • lungs
    • pancreas
    • liver

MW-ATTC work includes some of the following conditions:

  • Melanoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Critical leg ischaemia

Contact information

Last reviewed: 27 April 2021