Transplants Extend Human Lives

by Malc on January 18, 2012

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatm...

When the first heart transplant was carried out it was a startling event. But fantastic as it was, the poor patient had to exist on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of his life. Okay, he was still alive; but his immune system was severely compromised, making it difficult for him to cope with any infections.

In the meantime, more and more body parts have been produced using a patient’s own tissue, thus negating the need for immunosuppressant drugs.

Several wind pipes are now being grown from scratch and transplanted into patients using their own stem cells. These have produced dramatic improvements in health without any need for drugs to suppress the immune system. Similarly, the bladder and urethra have been grown using stem cells and transplanted into patient successfully.

Aubrey De Grey, anti-ageing specialist, recently commented: “We are seeing the emergence of a new area of medicine where the diseases of ageing can be blocked or even reversed. These therapies are mostly in research now but eventually they will be commonplace.”

Even a decade ago, these procedures were regarded as on the very margins of research. They are now rapidly becoming mainstream. Regenerating more complex organs is going to take longer – but they will be developed, it’s just a matter of time.

Hearts, kidneys and livers will be able to be grown, sooner than we think. And knees and hips will be regrown by using stem cell therapy. Even clinical trials for regeneration of spinal cells are under way.

These are exciting times for regenerative medicine, and its benefits will be with us at an ever-increasing rate.


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