In this image taken June 9, 2011 and released by Karolinska University Hospital Thursday, July 7, 2011, part of an operation is seen at the hospital in Stockhom, Sweden. A 36-year-old man who had tracheal cancer has received a new lab-made windpipe seeded with his own stem cells in a procedure in Sweden they call the first successful attempt of its kind, officials said Thursday. The Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm said the surgery was performed June 9, and that the patient is on his way to a “full recovery.” He will be released from a hospital Friday. (AP Photo/Karolinska University Hospital via Scanpix, HO)
(AP) — A 36-year-old man who had tracheal cancer has received a new
lab-made windpipe seeded with his own stem cells in a procedure in
Sweden they call the first successful attempt of its kind, officials
Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm said the surgery was
performed June 9, and that the patient is on his way to a “full
recovery.” He will be released from a hospital Friday.
said the patient, whose late stage cancer had almost fully blocked his
windpipe, had no other options since no suitable donor windpipes were
Paolo Macchiarini, who has also involved in previous windpipe
transplants, said the surgery at Karolinska “is the first synthetic
tissue engineered windpipe that has been successfully transplanted.”
perform the surgery, an international team lead by Macchiarini built a
scaffold and a bioreactor to seed it with the patient’s stem cells. New
cells to line and cover the windpipe were then grown on the scaffold for
two days before it was transplanted.
the cells used to regenerate the trachea were the patient’s own, there
has been no rejection of the transplant and the patient is not taking
(anti-rejection) drugs,” Karolinska said in a statement.
transplants have previously been performed using donor windpipes and
the patients’ own stem cells. But this latest surgery in Sweden is the
first to use a man-made organ. Several years ago, Macchiarini and other
experts used a patient’s bone marrow stem cells to create millions of
epithelial and cartilage cells to coat their Colombian patient’s new
windpipe, damaged after years of suffering from tuberculosis.
Professor Paolo Macchiarini, center, of Karolinska University Hospital and colleagues perform the operation at the hospital in Stockhom, Sweden. (AP Photo/Karolinska University Hospital via Scanpix, HO)
Belgian doctors previously implanted a donor windpipe into their
patient’s arm to restore its blood supply and grow new tissue before
placing it into her throat. In both transplants, because the patients’
own cells were used to coat the windpipes, neither of them needs to take
say synthetic structures could be used to fashion simple organs like
the windpipe, esophagus or bladder, but that it will be years before
scientists can create more complicated organs like kidneys or hearts in
plastic polymer used to make the artificial windpipe has previously
been used in tear ducts and blood vessels. It has a spongy surface to
speed cell growth. The makers of the synthetic windpipe said they
thought its most immediate application would be for patients with
tracheal cancer and that a similar structure might also help people with
cancer of the throat. Patients with those types of cancer are often
diagnosed late and have few good treatment options.
said that more surgeries like the one just performed in Sweden are
planned before the end of this year and will include two adult patients
and one child.
AP medical writer Maria Cheng contributed to this report.
SOURCE: The Associated Press.