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Author Topic: Windpipe transplant done using adult stem-cells...  (Read 2037 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 19, 2008, 10:54:11 AM »

Windpipe transplant breakthrough
By Michelle Roberts
Health reporter, BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7735696.stm

Surgeons in Spain have carried out the world's first tissue-engineered whole organ transplant - using a windpipe made with the patient's own stem cells.

The groundbreaking technology also means for the first time tissue transplants can be carried out without the need for anti-rejection drugs.

Five months on the patient, 30-year-old mother-of-two Claudia Castillo, is in perfect health, The Lancet reports.

She needed the transplant to save a lung after contracting tuberculosis.

The disease had damaged her airways.

Scientists from Bristol helped grow the cells for the transplant and the European team believes such tailor-made organs could become the norm.

To make the new airway, the doctors took a donor windpipe, or trachea, from a patient who had recently died.

CT of the patient's lungs before
A pre-surgery CT - the arrow showing the windpipe narrowing

Then they used strong chemicals and enzymes to wash away all of the cells from the donor trachea, leaving only a tissue scaffold made of the fibrous protein collagen.

This gave them a structure to repopulate with cells from Ms Castillo herself, which could then be used in an operation to repair her damaged left bronchus - a branch of the windpipe.

(Click the link above for the rest of the article)

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Amazing stuff - and it used adult stem-cells (bonus for those of us who don't like embryonic stem-cell research).
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2008, 11:07:29 AM »

Wow, that's incredible!
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 12:58:17 PM »

Awesome. This could help eliminate the waiting lists for transplants.
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 12:59:49 PM »

Sort of, anyway.  The article mentioned that a donor windpipe was needed as a sort of template, though I don't think they said it needed to match blood types and all since it was stripped bare for the stem cells to grow.
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 01:08:21 PM »

Sort of, anyway.  The article mentioned that a donor windpipe was needed as a sort of template, though I don't think they said it needed to match blood types and all since it was stripped bare for the stem cells to grow.
Right, but people die all the time. If we didn't need to worry about rejection, we could really use any part from anyone to grow a new one.
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 01:16:24 PM »

True, as long as people are still willing to be organ donors.
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 01:51:35 PM »

Sort of, anyway.  The article mentioned that a donor windpipe was needed as a sort of template, though I don't think they said it needed to match blood types and all since it was stripped bare for the stem cells to grow.

You're correct - it didn't need to match, since it was gutted except for the "skeletal structure" of the windpipe (empty cells and no blood).  Then the stem cells developed within the existing structure, taking on the characteristics and functions of the windpipe.

I think that this could lead to another increase in donor-ship, especially if people understand that there would now be more useful organs than ever before.
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 02:56:59 PM »

True, as long as people are still willing to be organ donors.
Well, yes, of course.
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 05:38:29 PM »

So could this eliminate the controversy of stem cells by no longer requiring aborted fetuses?
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 05:40:09 PM »

So could this eliminate the controversy of stem cells by no longer requiring aborted fetuses?

I wish.  Alas, I don't think it will... There is more potential for "delicate" organs (i.e. the heart) from embryonic stem-cells than from adult stem cells.
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2008, 12:56:14 AM »

That's amazing. I have heard that people here in Australia are being given the option of having their baby's placenta kept for future needs.
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2008, 02:34:22 AM »

So could this eliminate the controversy of stem cells by no longer requiring aborted fetuses?

I wish.  Alas, I don't think it will... There is more potential for "delicate" organs (i.e. the heart) from embryonic stem-cells than from adult stem cells.
All this "potential" talk.  Adult stem cells have produced at least 70 treatments in hundreds of thousands of cases.  Embryonic stem-cells have yet to produce one treatment in one case.
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2008, 08:26:00 AM »

^ Please, let's not discuss the embryonic stem-cell controversy here. We've already discussed it, and discussed it, and discussed it, and discussed it, and discussed it, and discussed it, and discussed it, and you get the idea. Let's leave this thread for a discussion of a medical breakthrough that has no controversy whatsoever.
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 01:13:35 PM »

Very promising stuff indeed.  Does anyone have any access to this article:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121501537/abstract

This seems to explain the history of how we arrived at stem cell production from differentiated cells.
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2008, 12:53:14 AM »

Excellent accomplishments. Incredible!
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