Lab-made trachea saves man

The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2011

Doctors have replaced the cancer-stricken windpipe of a patient with an organ made in a lab, a landmark achievement for regenerative medicine. The patient no longer has cancer and is expected to have a normal life expectancy, doctors said. "He was condemned to die," said Paolo Macchiarini, a professor of regenerative surgery who carried out the procedure at Sweden's Karolinska University Hospital. "We now plan to discharge him [Friday]."The transplantation of an entirely synthetic and permanent windpipe had never been successfully done before the June 9 procedure. The researchers haven't yet published the details in a scientific journal.The patient's speedy recovery marks another milestone in the quest to make fresh body parts for transplantation or to treat disease. More immediately, it offers a possible treatment option for thousands of patients who suffer from tracheal cancer or other dangerous conditions affecting the windpipe.


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