Mrs.Claudia Castillo, a mother of two has become the first person in the world to undergo successfully a whole organ transplant grown from her own stem cells.
From being virtually bedridden after her windpipe became blocked, 30-year-old Claudia Castillo, is now able to resume the active life she once had. Claudia Castillo has an artificial airway created entirely from her own stem cells. She is now able to walk up two flights of stairs, walk 500 yards without stopping, and care for her two children. Her body is showing no signs of rejecting the organ
The breakthrough is thanks to the pioneering work of British scientists, who are hailing a new dawn in transplant surgery which they believe could revolutionize the lives of millions. They believe the technique could be extended to allow surgeons to replace organs such as the heart and the lung, and are confident it will be the normal way of carrying out transplants in just two decades.
One of the researchers, Dr.Martin Birchall, professor of surgery at the University of Bristol, said: ‘What we’re seeing today is just the beginning. ‘We believe this success has proved that we are on the verge of a new age in surgical care.’
At present, patients having organ transplants must spend the rest of their lives on powerful drugs to suppress their immune systems, but this can leave them vulnerable to other infections and complications.
The revolutionary operation was carried out in Barcelona on Miss Castillo’s windpipe, or trachea. Scientists say up to 300 British people whose windpipes become blocked after cancer or infection could benefit every year.
The new technique ends the need for immuno-suppressant drugs. It uses part of a donated organ as a skeleton to grow stem cells on, but because these parts can be stored for longer than full organs, the method could save many more people and have an impact on lengthy waiting lists. Scientists hope that within 20 years all organs including heart, liver and lung could be grown in the lab, helping millions.