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Medicine Science

Child Receives Trachea Grown From Own Stem Cells 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-add-oxygen dept.
kkleiner writes "Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) along with colleagues at the University College London, the Royal Free Hospital, and Careggi University Hospital in Florence have successfully transplanted a trachea into a 10 year old boy using his own stem cells. A donor trachea was taken, stripped of its cells into a collagen-like scaffold, and then infused with the boy's stem cells. The trachea was surgically placed into the boy and allowed to develop in place. Because his own cells were used, there was little to no risk of rejection. This was the first time a child had received such a stem cell augmented transplant and the first time that a complete trachea had been used."
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Child Receives Trachea Grown From Own Stem Cells

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  • by magsol (1406749) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:41PM (#31605448) Homepage Journal
    Why are we not funding this???
    • by Gordo_1 (256312) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:03PM (#31605646)

      Everyone's stance on stem cell research should be queried by the DMV and added to your driver's license, just like organ donation. Then when you need a medical procedure that has benefited from stem cell research, you get the version of the procedure that's in line with your beliefs.

      I know... but I can dream can't I?

      • by Lord Kano (13027) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:39PM (#31607086) Homepage Journal

        I know... but I can dream can't I?

        Dream? You can't even pay attention. No one has fought against funding for research into cures using adult stem cells. No one has fought against funding for research into cures using your own stem cells. Try to pay attention.

        LK

        • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @05:59AM (#31608398)

          correction:
          Nobody who understands the difference has fought against funding for research into cures using adult stem cells.

          There's a massive ignorant crowd of fundies who still consider anything and everything to do with stem cells to be bad.

          • I am what most people would probably consider an “ignorant fundie”, and I speak for many more “ignorant fundies” when I say that we most certainly are aware of the difference.

            It is the pro-stem cell advocates who blur the difference or ignore it completely. The anti-embryonic stem cell advocates differentiate between embryonic and adult stem cell research and treatment, whereas the people who are pro-embryonic stem cell research will often accuse us, just like you have, of opposing a

            • by Lord Kano (13027)

              Furthermore, any adult stem cell breakthrough is hailed as a stem-cell research breakthrough typically with no comment on the fact that it is, in fact, an adult stem cell treatment, and then followed by scores of people claiming that it (the adult stem cell breakthrough) is proof that embryonic research is viable and should be performed more.

              I too have had that exact same argument. I pointed out the amount of success they've been having with adult stem cell treatments and the retort was that "experts" say t

          • correction:
            Nobody who understands the difference has fought against funding for research into cures using adult stem cells.

            There's a massive ignorant crowd of fundies who still consider anything and everything to do with stem cells to be bad.

            That is wrong, sir. Find me someone that opposes embryonic stem cell work on religious or ethical grounds. Then ask if they're opposed to non-embryonic stem cell work. To a man, you'll find almost no one. Go to any major religious or conservative publication.... National Review, National Catholic Reporter, etc... and find me one of them... just one... that opposes non-embryonic research. Every single one of them, and major political and religious organizations... even the most conservative of churches... su

            • That is wrong, sir. Find me someone that opposes embryonic stem cell work on religious or ethical grounds. Then ask if they're opposed to non-embryonic stem cell work. To a man, you'll find almost no one.

              Ask those same people, without preamble, if they oppose stem cell work on religious or ethical grounds.

              Almost none of them will qualify their answer with a distinction of embryonic vs. non-embryonic.

              The people who have truly considered in the issue in light of religion or ethics likely would make that dis

              • by Lord Kano (13027)

                Ask those same people, without preamble, if they oppose stem cell work on religious or ethical grounds.

                Almost none of them will qualify their answer with a distinction of embryonic vs. non-embryonic.

                That's an asinine position. The only reason why one would have ethical objections is because of the death of human embryos. Your question presupposes that you're talking about the type that is objectionable.

                LK

                • and you're assuming than anything more than a tiny minority care enough or are bright enough to have ever thought about it in terms of "ethics".

      • Can we do the same thing for evolution please?

        i.e. if you don't believe in evolution, then you won't get any treatments that are based on our understanding of how human beings and/or pathogens have evolved.

        Ironically, this policy would be an excellent source of natural selection.

        • Why wait for “natural” selection? Why not just shoot all the people who disagree, and expedite the matter...

          • Because shooting them wouldn't be as poetic as denying them that which they deny exists?

            • The funny part is that knowledge of the evolution of pathogens hasn’t nearly as much to do with the treatments you get as you seem to think. You appear to think that one has to be an evolutionist in order to contribute anything of value to biology, medicine, etc.

    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:24PM (#31605780)

      We are--- the restrictions on stem-cell funding have always been on embryonic stem cells, not on research involving stem cells derived from post-fetus-stage living humans, as is the case here.

      • We are--- the restrictions on stem-cell funding have always been on embryonic stem cells, not on research involving stem cells derived from post-fetus-stage living humans, as is the case here.

        And you also bring up something important that gets lost here. The restriction was only on federal funding of new stem cell lines. The research itself was never banned in any way, shape, or form. Nothing was stopping private organizations or states or universities from doing their own original embryonic cell work. The federal government just wasn't going to pay for it if it came from outside of existing stem cell lines already in the research pipeline.

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:28PM (#31605808)

      Um, you are. Or at least, you could be. The restrictions on federal funding are on embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells are interesting for their pluripotency. Adult stem cells are interesting because they don't trigger rejection. Generally, nobody has any problem with adult-stem research.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dmuir (964412)
        When people say they're against "embryonic stem cell research" everyone else just hears "stem cell research" because they're too dumb to know the difference (and that's on both sides!).
        • by DesScorp (410532)

          When people say they're against "embryonic stem cell research" everyone else just hears "stem cell research" because they're too dumb to know the difference (and that's on both sides!).

          I keep hearing this, and it's not true from my experience. People I talk to... normal, guy on the street neighbors, friends, and co-workers... are aware of the difference and of what the argument is. Quit assuming that everyone around you is dumb on the issue. I know this is Slashdot, where gross generalizations are a tradition, but try actually talking to people about this, and you may be surprised.

          • No, it’s mostly muddied by reports of lifesaving stem cell* cures...

            * adult stem cells, but they don’t mention that

            which of course show how stupid the fundies are who blindly oppose “stem cell** research”, and shows how we need more funding for embryonic stem cell research.

            ** embryonic stem cells, which the fundies will readily tell you but their opponents don’t mention

      • Embryonic stem cells are interesting for their pluripotency.

        But you can get iPS cells from a non-pluripotent adult somatic cells. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_pluripotent_stem_cell/ [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We are... this is a form of adult stem cell use, which was not excluded by the bush ban on embryonic stem cell research. this ban was also recently overturned.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MobyDisk (75490)

      1) Who is "we" in your question? This was done by:

      Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) along with colleagues at the University College London, the Royal Free Hospital, and Careggi University Hospital in Florence

      2) If you meant the United States, this would be government funded had it been done in that country since it deals with adult stem cells.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Lord Kano (13027)

      We never stopped funding it. We weren't funding research based on the stem cells from dead human embryos.

      I know you weren't interested in the answer, but I wanted to point out your douchebaggery.

      LK

    • Why are we not funding this Who's "we". If you are a Wal-Mart shopper, you probably are funding it.
  • "Minor" correction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484)
    The headline would be correct if we can synthesize the collagen molding and do away with the need for donor organ.
    • The headline would be correct if we can synthesize the collagen molding and do away with the need for donor organ.

      I suppose so but the donor organ in this case would seem to be something in plentiful supply, Its not like a heart which you have to keep alive between the donor and recipient.

      • Its not like a heart which you have to keep alive between the donor and recipient.

        More to the point, it's not something which needs a stringent donor match as do current transplant techniques. With the relatively vast donor pool, there's no need to develop a synthetic collagen scaffold just to be able to apply this stem cell technique broadly.

        • You know, those new 3D solids printers that have been in the /. news lately could probably be tweaked to output collagen-based scaffolds....

    • by Zorque (894011)

      The donor only donated the frame upon which the cells grew, they were still the child's own cells.

  • let me just say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by martas (1439879) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:51PM (#31605548)
    holy crap.

    good job, guys.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It just leaves you speechless, doesn't it?

    • by CompMD (522020)

      Good job indeed. Good job at writing the prequel to the new "Repo Man" movie.

      • Good job indeed. Good job at writing the prequel to the new "Repo Man" movie.

        Having just seen it, I made the same connection - but I came to a different conclusion. It just makes the movie look more stupid. I mean it already looked pretty poor. The story might have worked if it was made 30-40 years ago, but with medical science where it is - the thing looks pretty anachronistic.

        While I was watching it, a number of things jumped out at me as silly. One of them was the cybernetic nature of all the implants - and therefore their ability to be "repo'd" at all. "Replacement organs aren't

  • ...adjusting "penis enlargement" spam filter to let emails with "stem cells" in the subject or body through...

    You're never too rich, too thin or too well-hung.
  • I know, this isn't a case of using embryonic stem cells but pretty much the politics of ESC work like this. Republicans will often give reasons that should make them be for it and yet are against it. Democrats on the other hand often give reasons to be against it but are for it. (But I just mostly shake my head when I hear either side talk.)
  • Combo Breaker (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sick_em (1603731) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:54PM (#31606488)
    Wait a second, stem cells that regenerate but will probably give you cancer, and nanoparticles that eat cancer for breakfast [slashdot.org]...if my math works out correctly regeration + cancer - cancer = regeneration (or at least non-rejectable organ transfers). Can anyone say ultra combo?
  • More of this will come. It's wonderful.
  • by HighOrbit (631451) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:07PM (#31606882)
    Instead of using a donor and then stripping cells to get the collogen scaffold, next they should do 3-D printing of collogen into any shape they want. "Grown" organs in the future will not be grown, they will be built layer-by-layer.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Finally, an end to those spams on how to make a certain appendage larger.
    • by tokenshi (1633557)

      Then covered in caramel, dropped into a friar and served a la mode.

      mmmm... trachea.

  • The 'gosh' tag.

    Thats pretty much exactly what I thought when I read the title. I knew we'd eventually pull this type of stuff off, but still now that its starting to happen ... thats pretty freaking cool.

  • Ok,so now we can grow a trachea, an esophagus and bronchi. All tubular structures. Which means intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum and colon) could be re-grown too.

    The future is looking very bright indeed. Now we just have to work on the organs like the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas etc. And I don't think those are very far off, they've pretty much figured out how to vascularize large organs.
    • by osgeek (239988)

      Now we just have to work on the organs like the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas etc. And I don't think those are very far off, they've pretty much figured out how to vascularize large organs.

      Umm.... you might want to look at this [youtube.com]

  • ...wake me up when they do this with a larynx. I know a significant subset of the population who'd pay good money for that.

  • Just to spare non-specialists the google: The trachea is the windpipe.
    Would've been nice to include in TFS.
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      I would have thought that most literate people know what a trachea is, at least if they've done high-school 1st year biology...

  • We need more of this to convince people that it is absolutely worth it to research and use stem cells as much as we can.

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      We need more of this to convince people that it is absolutely worth it to research and use stem cells as much as we can.

      What kind? This wasn't from embryonic stem cells. This was from the child's own cells. So they were literally "thinking of the children" in this case.

  • by gryf (121168)
    If the kid's own embryonic stem cells had been harvested for this kind of experimental work, he would never have developed a problem with his trachea. Isn't this why we need to fully fund embryonic stem cell research with everyone's tax dollars? /irony

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