Mom Gets Trachea Grown From Own Stem Cells

Organ grown with patient's stem cells
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2008 4:49 AM CST
A graphic showing a procedure used to cover and line a donor windpipe with the recipient's cells.   (AP Photo/Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, HO)
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(Newser) – In a frontier-busting surgery, transplant doctors have given a young woman a trachea developed in a lab using the patient's own stem cells. Stem cells from the patient's trachea and bone marrow were used to create a new rejection-proof organ in the surgery, performed in Spain in June, reports the BBC. The trachea developed its own blood supply a month after the operation.

The recipient is a 30-year-old mother. "We are terribly excited by these results. Before this, we had been doing this work only on pigs," said the lead surgeon. The patient is "enjoying a normal life, which for us clinicians is the most beautiful gift."
(Read more surgery stories.)