Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A HUGE Medical Breakthrough - Stem Cells Used in World's First "Tissue-engineered" Transplant

I've often thought it would be much easier if I could just grow my own replacement liver... and it seems my wish may come true far sooner than expected.

Today's feature article in the British Journal titled, "Clinical Transplantation of a Tissue-engineered Airway," describes how a 30-year-old Colombian woman whose airway was severely damaged by tuberculosis was transplanted with a windpipe (from a deceased donor) that had been altered with the woman's own stem cells. Although the patient has not taken immunosuppressants since her transplant in June 2008, her immune system has not rejected the transplanted windpipe.

What an advancement! Immunosuppressants are life-savers but they exact a tremendous toll and can cause serious side effects, including high blood pressure, kidney damage, liver damage, increased chances of infection or illness, anemia and/or high blood sugar, to name a few (depending on the immunosuppressant). Some of the side effects don't show up for years and transplant patients must take immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives.

Congratulations to the physicians, researchers and staff at universities in Barcelona, Spain; Padua and Milan in Italy; Bristol, England; and at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, all of whom participated in this ground-breaking procedure. Gracias, grazie and thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Jay
My name is Michael Wells and I had a liver transplant Dec 2, 1999 due to chirosis and hep C and my recovery has been excellent. Good work on your blog.
I will celebrate my 9th year by hiking up Apsen Mountain in Colorado on Dec 6th. If you would like to check out the event go to Its sponsored by the Chris Klug foundation. There is little bit of my story on the site. Also Its great about the stem cell treatment. If you would like to check out more about stem cells treamtent go to Stem cell treatment is a form of transplantation in my opinion and maybe with the new adminstation some work can be done in the States. Thank You
Michael Wells