The announcement that UK doctors are to conduct stem cell research using liver cells to create the possibility of helping patients without the need for a liver transplant will be great news for people with chronic disease that require transplant surgery.
Liver patients die every year waiting for an organ transplant and some do not even make the transplant list due to severe organ shortages in the UK.
For those lucky enough to get an organ there is also the added risk of the liver rejecting and putting them back on the transplant list.
The UK and many other countries are facing an epidemic of serious liver disease much because of alcohol abuse and obesity which is drastically raising the need for donor livers.
The latest statistics show that about one fifth of organs transplanted every year go to recovering alcoholics.
The death count due to liver disease has increased by a quarter in the last ten years and many of the victims are only in middle-age. Over 11,500 men and women die of liver disease every year in the UK, up from 9,200 in 2001.
It is estimated that just below 80 per cent of these deaths are caused by alcohol and obesity, and the other 20 per cent are caused by hepatitis and inherited conditions.
The habit of overeating also puts the lives of over 500,000 obese young people in the UK at risk of serious liver disease according to recent reports by the Department of Health.
Although alcohol is a major cause to liver damage, many people are not aware of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is associated with being overweight.