The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of umbilical cord blood stem cells (USCs) transplantation combined with routine supportive therapy (RST) for liver cirrhosis (LC).
Clinical trials involved in this research were searched from Web of Science, PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Wanfang and CNKI database. Treatment effects, quality of life (QoL), adverse events and other outcome measures were extracted and evaluated.
A total of 10 trials including 616 LC patients were involved in this study. Based on our analysis, the liver function of LC patients was significantly improved after USCs transplantation and RST combined therapy, indicated by decreased total bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase levels and prothrombin time and increased serum albumin level and prothrombin activity. Compared to those treated by RST alone, patients treated by combined therapy showed more satisfied treatment effects, improved QoL reflected by improved appetite (odds ratio [OR]=5.43, 95% CI=2.84 to 10.38, P<0.00001) and relieved fatigue (OR=4.33, 95% CI=0.87 to 21.60, P=0.07), ascetic fluid (OR=4.56, 95% CI=2.69 to 7.74, P<0.00001), abdominal distension (OR=4.01, 95% CI=1.34 to 12.02, P=0.01) and edema (OR=2.69, 95% CI=0.23 to 31.72, P=0.43). No serious adverse events occurred during USCs therapy.
USCs transplantation is a safe and effective adjuvant therapy for RST-treated LC, possibly through improving patients' liver function.