The medical ability to regenerate diseased or destroyed parts of the human body has been a staple of the science fiction genre—of which I am a fan—for decades; and some in our medical establishment have proclaimed that use of embryonic stem cells—those derived from killing babies—promises that future.
In a very wonderful and ongoing series of developments, those who value human life too much to use the cells of killed babies for any purpose, have been advancing the regenerative techniques of medicine by using adult stem cells and the results are truly amazing.
Christian Brugger, Ph.D. explains in a recent article.
“Imagine a day when patients suffering from tuberculosis could go down to a hospital and trade in their diseased windpipes for a brand-spanking-new model custom built from their own cells and live free of the disease. Or where parents of congenitally brain damaged children could purchase a blood transfusion cocktail that would unlock the world of mental normality for their beloved children. Or where heart-attack victims could receive cardiac injections of miracle cells that not only would heal their damaged heart muscle, but also stimulate new blood vessel growth in their hearts and reduce scar tissue from the injury? Say ‘good morning’ to the stem cell revolution because that day has begun. I should be more precise: the ADULT stem cell revolution HAS BEGUN. Remarkably, these are not the dreams of some distant future but the treatments and possibilities opening before us right now.
“Last March, the left lung of 30-year old Columbian woman, Claudia Castillo, collapsed as a result of the advanced tuberculosis with which she had suffered for years. Barely able to breath, she decided to undergo an experimental windpipe transplant in Barcelona. A section of windpipe was taken from a deceased donor. Physicians at the University of Padua in Italy scoured the pipe for six weeks with detergents and enzymes to eliminate all donor cells, leaving behind a bare scaffold of human connective tissue. Taking precious bone marrow (adult) stem-cells from Castillo’s hip, a research team from the University of Bristol, England, coaxed the cells to develop into millions of cartilage cells and tissue cells identical to those that coat and line windpipes. Finally, experts at the University of Milan used a special bioreactor to coat and line the tracheal scaffold with the newly grown cartilage and tissue cells derived from Castillo’s stem cells. In June in Barcelona, Castillo had her section of irreparably damaged windpipe replaced with a brand-spanking-new windpipe constructed from her own stem-cells, without worry of graft rejection. Five months later, she is caring again for her two children, taking long walks without growing winded, and even—she reports—dancing the night away at clubs in Barcelona. There has been no indication thus far of tissue rejection.”