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Artificial Windpipe Saves Cancer Patient

Lab-made organ successfully transplanted
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 5:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – They almost make it sound easy: Surgeons in Sweden removed a man's cancerous windpipe and replaced it with an artificial one they had whipped up in the lab, reports the BBC. No more diseased windpipe, no more cancer. "He was condemned to die," says one of surgeons of the 36-year-old male patient. "We now plan to discharge him [tomorrow]."

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It's the first time a synthetic windpipe has been successfully transplanted, raising hope for patients with all manners of tracheal diseases, notes the Wall Street Journal. Surgeons coated the lab-made organ with the patient's own stem cells to reduce the risk of rejection. The procedure took place less than a month ago, and the patient's quick recovery was another bonus. (Read more medical breakthrough stories.)

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