Repair of intestines and a new trachea
ADULT Stem Cell Success
We read about the need for embryonic stem cell research, which costs the lives of the tiniest human beings and which so far has not helped human patients. We frequently do not see mention of adult stem cell research, which has been used successfully in treating over 73 different diseases and debilitating conditions in humans. There are several sources for adult stem cells, but none of them come from embryos. Here are two of the newest stories of adult stem cell treatments.
Repair of an intestinal system
When Michael Wenman, of England, was three weeks old, his mother knew something was seriously wrong. Extensive testing finally showed that his intestinal system was being destroyed by his own overactive immune system. By the time he was six years old, he was in danger of death, was being fed intravenously, and was in constant pain.
Doctors decided to try to reset his immune system. It was risky but was his only chance. First, doctors took portions of his bone marrow containing stem cells and saved them. Then, they gave him chemotherapy that completely destroyed his immune system. Finally, they re-injected his saved bone marrow and it created a new immune system for him. His intestines, no longer under daily attack, healed.
Michael is now 12 years old, playing soccer, going swimming, and going to school full time.
His brother Matthew was given the same treatment at the age of 4. Matthew is now 9 years old and has returned to a normal life. Their mother calls them “strong, healthy boys.”
A new windpipe
Claudia Castillo, a Colombian woman living in Barcelona, had suffered the effects of tuberculosis for years. In March of this year, doctors concluded that she needed a windpipe (trachea) transplant. The alternative would have been removal of a lung, which would have left her permanently impaired.
In a cooperative venture between Italy and England, scientists stripped all extraneous cells from a donated windpipe, created millions of cartilage and tissue cells from Claudia’s stem cells to fill in the structure and make the donated windpipe her own, applied the new cells to the new windpipe, and implanted it.
She recently went out for a late night of dancing. As she said in an interview, she’s enjoying her life.