30 novembre 2008

Spain reports breakthrough using adult stem cells

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 11/24/2008 7:00:00 AM

A major medical breakthrough involving adult stem cells has occurred in Spain.

Medical researchers in Spain replaced 30-year-old Claudia Castillo's windpipe by growing her own stem cells in the shape of the damaged body part, and her body has not rejected it. According to The Independent, Castillo's bout with tuberculosis left her with a collapsed lung and unable to breathe or do many daily activities such as look after and play with her two children.

Dr. Robert Scheidt is with the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and applauds the so-called "new age in surgical care." "I just can't get over the marvel of recreating an organ -- and an organ that's compatible because it uses the patient's original DNA and tissues -- and it works," he notes.

This accomplishment, according to Scheidt, is just another reason why research on human embryos will not work, while adult stem cells are already successful. "We found out that stem cells have a peculiar property that, if they're placed in an organ -- it can be one of several organs -- they assume the identity of the organ into which they are placed and then start to work accordingly," he explains.

Castillo is also the first patient to receive a whole organ transplant without needing to take strong immunosuppressant drugs to aid in the body's adjustment. Dr. Scheidt believes the success brings healthcare officials closer to recreating and transplanting organs such as the heart and liver.

"I can envision a day that we could replenish the body with substitute parts that are not harvested from another body but are grown from our own stem cells," he concludes.

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