BRITISH face surgeons are to grow new skull, cheek and jaw bones on patients’ backs using their own stem cells.
The surgeons, from Barts and the London NHS Trust, hope to use the technique to help people whose facial bones have been destroyed by cancer or injury.
Four patients are awaiting the treatment, which the surgeons believe could eventually become a less risky alternative to face transplants. Two are cancer victims and two have had accidents.
The team, led by Iain Hutchison, will make the first attempt to grow replacement bone from a patient’s own stem cells in Britain.
The procedure involves constructing
Doctors hope a Nottinghamshire boy with leukaemia can undergo a stem cell transplant in May.
Roman Cusick, from Calverton, is currently recovering from chemotherapy.
If he is deemed to be well enough, he will receive cells from an umbilical cord from a German donor in a procedure at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
In February almost 200 people in Calverton helped took part in a saliva test to see if they were a suitable match.
Leukaemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow, leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells.
Human adult stem cells are being used to cure cirrhosis and other serious live diseases. Another 15 people in Brazil on the liver transplant waiting list have been treated by cellular therapy with encouraging results. “We are still in a strictly experimental phase” underlined Luiz Guilherme Costa Lyra, hepatologist and coordinator of the study performed by Sao Rafael di Salvador Hospital, collaborating with San Raffaele Hospital of Milan. “We must clarify that this therapy is not available for any patient outside of the experiment, so it is useless for anyone to write us asking to get
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Scientists seeking new ways to fight maladies ranging from arthritis and osteoporosis to broken bones that won’t heal have cleared a formidable hurdle, pinpointing and controlling a key molecular player to keep stem cells in a sort of extended infancy. It’s a step that makes treatment with the cells in the future more likely for patients.
Controlling and delaying development of the cells, known as mesenchymal (pronounced meh-ZINK-a-mill) stem cells, is a long-sought goal for researchers. It’s a necessary step for doctors who would like to expand the number of true
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Plerixafor has allowed doctors to collect stem cells from patients where there had been previous difficulties.
The drug, which has only recently been licensed, is being used at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.
Stem cells therapies are used to treat people with cancer of the blood. The cells are collected and reintroduced to a patient after chemotherapy.
Doctors often encounter problems collecting enough stem cells from about one in 10 cancer patients to undergo treatment.
Plerixafor has, so far, had a 100% success rate in allowing doctors at the cancer centre to collect enough cells from patients who fall