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Vein Grown From Her Own Stem Cells Saves 10-Year-Old 169

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about a milestone in stem cell medicine. "A ten year old girl became the first person in the world to get a major blood vessel replaced by one grown using her own stem cells. The 10-year-old from Sweden had a blockage of a vein from her liver. The doctors decided to give her a new vein instead of a liver transplant or giving her a vein from her own body, Associated Press reported. The team from University of Gothenburg first took 9 cm vein segment from a dead man and stripped all living cells from it, leaving behind only a protein structure. They later reconstructed the vein by using cells from the girl's own bone marrow. The new graft was then put in the girl's body two weeks later."
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Vein Grown From Her Own Stem Cells Saves 10-Year-Old

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  • by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @07:42PM (#40330087) Homepage

    Since the donor vessel was stripped down to nothing but a protien structure is there any reason a non-human vein couldn't be donated?

    I know they use animal tissues as scaffolds for some treatments. I was recently reading about the use of stripped extracellular matrix from pigs bladders for treatment on both horses and people. []

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @07:56PM (#40330217) Journal

    It's actually not as amazing as it seems... adult stem cells* have been used quite extensively, and for quite awhile. It also has the added advantage of compatibility.

    * yes she's a kid, but they still call 'em adult cells, to distinguish them from the embryonic ones.

  • by hondo77 ( 324058 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:02PM (#40330287) Homepage

    This article [] touches on that in the last paragraph. In a nutshell: maybe. This is pioneering work so there are a lot of things that need to be evaluated.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:10PM (#40330359)
    You mean like the $30+ billion the US spends on medical research? [] Oh wait, that doesn't count because it's funded by taxpayers in the evil country you hate so much.
  • by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:45PM (#40330651)
    The structure of the vein isn't a major issue in this particular case- the procedure was a bypass, so all that was needed was a tube of tissue that could take blood from one vein to another. This procedure, called a meso Rex bypass, has been done with a variety of vein sources already. The cadaver donor vein used here was an iliac vein, which normally returns blood from the legs. Issues of structure or size do come into play when other types of grafts or transplants are considered, but I think, as other comments have noted, that in this case generation of the vein from stem cells was done for immunological reasons, as even decellularized animal tissue can provoke an immune response.
  • Re:Controversy. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:06PM (#40330795)

    Survey says: WRONG! Bush and his "right wing cronies" were against embryonic stem cells. Something you seem to be unable to differentiate from the adults stem cells which this treatment was based on.

  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:22PM (#40330907) Homepage
    Looks like I needed to use the sarcasm HTML tag. I thought I was extravagant enough not to need it...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @09:56PM (#40331091)

    (I'm a liver transplant surgeon).

    They could have done this procedure with cadaver iliac vein without the fancy bioprocessing, without immunosuppression. I've done that operation. Allograft vessels and other tissue grafts have been available for years. It's an interesting idea to see if the autologous endothelial cells improve patency, but the procedure itself is nothing remotely newsworthy. I can't believe Lancet accepted the statement that this processing avoided the need for liver transplantation.

    Also, decellularized bovine carotid grafts have also been used in human surgery for many years, usually for dialysis access surgery. The trade name is Artegraft, and I think they are marketed by Johnson and Johnson, but not sure. I don't know if bovine carotid has ever been used for a meso-rex shunt (what this kid had - an uncommon procedure), but they have been used many thousands of times for other vascular surgery.

  • by petman ( 619526 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @10:12PM (#40331173)

    The are the discarded remnants from in vitro fertilization.

    What are you talking about? The stem cells used in the kid's treatment came from her own bone marrow.

  • by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <773reppilc>> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @10:21PM (#40331231) Homepage

    There's medical research, then there's stem cell research. "Medical Research" into the next generation of viagra or lipitor is easy as pie to get funded. Drugs like that solve profitable problems, and don't piss off people with the "My Jesus is better than your Jesus" agenda.

    I work for a top five engineering university. Our Biomed Engineering programs (which tend to lean more towards the "Med" side rather than the "engineering" side, but there's definite overlap) are having problems because the state politicians have decided to go sticking their noses into how research dollars can be spent re: stem cells. Prospective faculty are looking elsewhere, and existing research is having to walk a very fine line with the research they can do out of the very real fears that they'll have their funding pulled (or worse). It's a hamstring-ing that we didn't need.

    I'm pretty convinced that if you could find a stem-cell based method of getting a 68 year old state senator a extra two inches of cock, or at least a regular hard-on, we'd have solid gold toilets and flying cars to carry us around campus by the end of the week. Instead we get bible thumpers that represent 500 people from West-Buttfuckia who pool together with like-lettered pals and get themselves convinced that unless they bravely throw themselves in front of us, we'll be shoving babies into blenders. Facts? Who needs them? My major donor's friend's pastor heard that stem cell research causes abortion rates to go up 783%!

    Yeah, I'm bitter.

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