STEM CELLS HIT MAIN STREAM MEDIA!
On NBC tonight at 8pm EST!
The first stem cell generated windpipe was implanted in 2008.
Six long years later, the technique has been improved significantly and has hit main stream media.
“Macchiarini’s team began by collecting stem cells from Beyene’s bone marrow. Those cells were mixed with special growth factors and then poured onto a scaffold made from plastic — in fact, the very same plastic that is used to make soda bottles — which had been made to mimic the shape of a real windpipe. In just a matter of days, the scaffold began to transform into an actual functioning windpipe.”
Some attack those pushing the boundaries, citing that the surgery is experimental and unproven. But the Dr can’t stand by as patients die when he can do something about it and can’t ignore their pleas for a chance at the hope of recovery. This is cutting edge of medicine and there are thousands of clinical trials and studies and 10s to 100s of thousands of patients treated, most outside of the US. There are no guarantees. There are always risks, even with rigorously tested pharmaceutical drugs and treatment protocols that have been used for decades. But for chronic and terminal patients who are given no chance for recovery, experimental sounds like a pretty great option.
Historically, new treatments have always been met with resistance.
“Tom Starzl, when he started doing liver transplants, the first seven, eight, nine patients all died. Everybody said he was nuts, OK? Christian Barnard, when he started doing heart transplants, everyone threw rocks at him. This is how we’re going to treat diseases in the future and this is the start of it.”
Anything which pushes the envelop of contemporary knowledge will be rejected by those clinging to traditional concepts…but without pioneering doctors and even more pioneering patients, willing to take risks, medical protocols can not advance. I salute the doctor and the patients who are the ground-breaking pioneers in the new land of regenerative medicine. And what can their mutual risk do for the patient and millions to follow?
“One of Macchiarini’s most promising success stories is Claudia Castillo, a Spanish mother who is doing so well six years after her transplant that an increasing number of Macchiarini’s colleagues are beginning to see him in a new light.”
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