In a major breakthrough in the medical sciences, first ever Windpipe grown in laboratory through stem cell technology has been transplanted successfully in a cancer patient in Sweden.
The recipient, a 36 year old tracheal cancer patient, was reportedly discharged from hospital on Friday folowing recovery after the transplant, which was carried out at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, Stockholm on June 9.
For the first time in history, the new trachea or windpipe was made from a synthetic scaffold seeded with patient’s own stem cells, the hospital said in a statement, adding that it would enable a greater chance of cure.
“The cells were grown on a nanocomposite tracheal scaffold inside a specifically designed bioreactor for two days before transplantation to the patient,” Professor Paolo Macchiarini, who performed the operation, said.
Because 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 immunosuppressive drugs, he added.
A team of surgeons decided to transplant the synthetic tissue engineered trachea as the patient, at late stage tracheal cancer, was left out with no option without a suitable donor windpipe.
Despite maximum treatment with radiation therapy, the tumor had reached approximately 6 cm in length and was extending to the main bronchus, doctors said.