LONDON: Doctors have carried out pioneering lifesaving surgery to give a new windpipe to a British teenager suffering from cancer.
The 19-year-old was able to speak within a few days of the operation carried out in Italy using her own stem cells.
Another 31-year-old patient from Czechoslovakia also underwent surgery for the same rare form of trachea cancer.
Doctors regenerated tissue from the patients’ nose and bone marrow stem cells to create windpipes in the laboratory, which were biologically identical to the patients’ original organs.
Because they contained no donor material, the patients will not have to take anti-rejection drugs.
Walter Giovannini, from AOU Careggi Hospital, in Florence, Italy, said the British woman was speaking just three or four days following the operation last month.
He said: 'This is a unique solution for a problem that had none, except the death of the patient.
'Surgeons have been making advances in the transplant of windpipes, but previous cases have mostly focused on patients whose windpipes have been physically damaged due to trauma.
'While trachea cancer is rare, it is very difficult to treat because it is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation and transplants of mechanical devices to replace the windpipe have not been effective.'
- Posts : 773
Join date : 2011-02-24