Friday, December 12, 2008

Remarkable Trachea Stem Cell Transplant

news you may not know

Yes - It's Absolutely Stunning...

It appears Columbia is on the move. No longer satisfied to have their national identity tied to international drug cartels - or, in best case scenariois, to the caffeine devotee Juan Valdez - Columbia decided to take the worldwide medical community by storm.

It worked.

Claudia Castillo may very well become the new face of Columbia. The thirty-year-old Columbian woman sought medical help after tuberculosis destroyed part of her trachea. The trachea is the small section of windpipe that connects to the lungs.

Doctors in Spain, at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, performed a radical new procedure on Castillo. They first harvested stem cells from her bone marrow. They then seeded her stem cells onto the framework of a donor trachea - which had been stripped of the donor cells. This allowed the scientists to create a hybrid organ that Castillo's body would recognize as being her own.

This breakthrough technique means Castillo will not be at risk of rejecting the transplant, and won't have to take anti-rejection drugs. When using stem cells obtained form another source, the use of anti-rejection medications is a lifelong requirement.

Castillo has done remarkably well, with the new tissue being indistinguishable for her original tissue. Prior to the revolutionary surgery, Castillo had breathing difficulties, and was prone to infections. Now, she is enjoying an active and healthy life once again.

So, next time you think of Columbia, think of Claudia Castillo. International drug cartels are so yesterday.

To read more about the surgery, see this from Reuters. To learn more about stem cells, see this from the National Institutes of Health.


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