24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 08:00

Windpipe transplant success in UK child

Category: Health

Published: 19th Mar 2010 13:42:20

A 10-year-old British boy has become the first child to undergo a windpipe transplant with an organ crafted from his own stem cells.

It is hoped that using the boy's own tissue in the nine-hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital will cut the risk of rejection.

The world's first tissue-engineered windpipe transplant was done in Spain in 2008 but with a shorter graft.

Doctors say the boy is doing well and breathing normally.

He has a rare condition called Long Segment Congenital Tracheal Stenosis, in which patients are born with an extremely narrow airway.

At birth his airway was just one millimetre across.

Doctors had previously operated to expand his airway but in November last year he suffered complications from erosion of a metal stent in his windpipe or trachea.

In order to build him a new airway, doctors took a donor trachea, stripped it down to the collagen scaffolding, and then injected stem cells taken from his bone marrow.

The organ was then implanted in the boy and over the next month, doctors expect the stem cells to transform into specialised cells which form the inside and outside of the trachea.

Pioneering

Two years ago, Claudia Castillo, a 30-year-old mother of two, became the first person to receive a transplant organ created from stem cells.

She received a new section of trachea after her own had been damaged by tuberculosis.

The latest operation is a significant advance on that pioneering work, as it is the first time a whole tissue engineered windpipe has been transplanted.

Also in Ms Castillo's case, doctors grew the new tissue from her stem cells in the laboratory.

But in the UK operation, the donor windpipe was treated with a cocktail of chemicals designed to prompt the stem cells to grow into new tissue once inside the body.

Professor Martin Birchall, head of translational regenerative medicine at University College London, who was part of the team behind the operation, said it was a "real milestone".

"It is the first time a child has received stem cell organ treatment, and it's the longest airway that has ever been replaced.

"I think the technique will allow not just highly specialised hospitals to carry out stem cell organ transplants."

He said more clinical trials were needed to prove the technique worked but that the team was also thinking about transplanting other organs, such as the oesophagus.

Stem cell pioneer Professor Paolo Macchiarini, from Careggi University Hospital in Florence was involved in both the Spanish and UK transplants.

He had also carried out the stem cell procedure on a 53-year-old Italian woman.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2010. Windpipe transplant success in UK child [Online] (Updated 19th Mar 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/45714/Windpipe-transplant-success-in-UK-child [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Cold mountains: Snapshots from avalanche team's latest season

    The last avalanche forecast of the latest Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) season has been published.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Quorn investment creates 400 jobs in Teesside and North Yorkshire

    About 400 jobs are to be created across Teesside and North Yorkshire thanks to £30m of investment from Quorn Foods.
  • Stolen Derry defibrillator means 'lives are at risk'

    An independent ambulance service has said lives are at risk after £10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from one of its vehicles in Londonderry.
  • Euro 2020: Football Association of Wales ready to submit bid

    Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford hopes the Uefa Super Cup will act as a platform in Cardiff's bid to be one of the host cities for Euro 2020.
  • Labour Party seeks to cut links with Co-op Bank

    The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in UK.