Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

A Stem Cell First- New Organ Created and Transplanted Using Adult Stem Cells

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - Stem Cell Guru

Let me explain that as I know the title can be confusing. Claudia Castillo, a woman in Barcelona was suffering from Tuberculosis. The tuberculosis had made the tube connecting her windpipe (trachea)to collapse and it was slowly sinking into her lung. She was facing the removal of her lung. The trachea needed to be replaced.

What to do? Grow a new trachea of course! Claudia has become the first person in the world to receive a new organ grown from her own stem cells.

I bet you are asking- how did they do this? Here's how:

  1. Adult Stem Cells were extracted from Claudia's bone marrow and then grown into cartilage in the lab.
  2. A part of a windpipe taken from a donor (deceased) was cleaned of all cells so it wouldn't be rejected by Claudia.
  3. That piece was used as a scaffold or model and the stem cells were grown around it, thus creating a new windpipe comprised of Claudia's own cells!
  4. The new organ was transplanted back into Claudia who is already out of the hospital and living a normal life.
This was a total team effort. The operation took place in Barcelona, the University of Bristol in England grew the cartilage cells from the stem cells, and researchers in Italy using a special machine took those new cells and fitted them around the scaffold.

This is amazing. Since the organ was grown from her own cells, she will NOT have to take immune-suppressing drugs to deal with organ rejection.

This is just the beginning of something wonderful. All the proponents of embryonic stem cell research say that Adult Stem Cells aren't as "versatile" or "flexible" and not having as much "potential" as Embryonic Stem Cells. However, what we just saw here is Adult Stem Cells taken from the bone marrow and then multiplied and grown and changed into cartilage cells (See this great story too) to make a perfectly matching windpipe. I think that is pretty "versatile."

And because it is using Adult Stem Cells, it sidesteps any ethical/moral debates. This is the future of surgery. Hopefully someday soon, researchers will be able to do this with other organs as well. A heart? Liver? Why not? The sky is the limit with Adult Stem Cells.



Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Since it doesn't involve destroying embryos, the MSM will either ignore the breakthrough entirely or will let the fact that it was ADULT stem cells slide by with just the scantiest mention.

7:20 PM  

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