Windpipe transplant breakthrough - Stem Cell Therepy to treat serious diseases
In a breakthrough scientists in Spain have used adult stem cells from the recepient of an organ transplant to trick the body into accepting the donated organ without the use of anti-rejection drugs.
Under normal surgical procedured involving organ transplantation involving a donar and a recepient; heavy dosage of anti rejection drugs are required to be administered. As the name suggests anti rejection drugs improve the chances of the recepient's body rejecting the external organ and save it from the attack of anti bodies.
Windpipe transplant breakthrough
How pioneering surgery allowed the windpipe transplant
Scientists in Spain have carried out the world's first tissue-engineered whole organ transplant - a windpipe - made with a 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 is in perfect health, The Lancet reports.
Tailor-made organs like this could become the norm, the European team of experts believe.
The patient, 30-year-old mother of two Claudia Castillo, needed the surgery to save a lung following damage to her airways by tuberculosis.
"Own grown" organ
To make the new airway, the doctors took a donor windpipe, or trachea, from a patient who had recently died.
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.
By using Ms Castillo's own cells the doctors were able to trick her body into thinking the donated trachea was part of it, thus avoiding rejection.
This transplant breakthrough gains importance in the light of the side effects of anti rejection drugs like excessive hair growth, bloating and increased risks of killer diseases like cancer. It was reported in January in USA today that a new technique of weakning the immune system of the organ recepient was used to reduce their dependence on anti rejection drugs and taking them off anti rejection drugs over a period of time.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In what's being called a major advance in organ transplants, doctors say they have developed a technique that could free many patients from having to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives.
The treatment involves weakening the patient's immune system, then giving the recipient bone marrow from the person who donated the organ. In one experiment, four of five kidney recipients were off immune-suppressing medicines up to five years later.
"There's reason to hope these patients will be off drugs for the rest of their lives," said Dr. David Sachs of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who led the research published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
Since the world's first transplant more than 50 years ago, scientists have searched for ways to trick the body to accept a foreign organ as its own. Immune-suppressing drugs that prevent organ rejection came into wide use in the 1980s.