A 13-year old Irish teenager who became the first child in the world to undergo a tracheal transplant surgery which involved rebuilding his throat using his own stem cells is reported to be making a successful recovery.
Ciaran Finn-Lynch, from County Monaghan, was diagnosed with a condition known as Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis which interfered with his breathing. After an initial treatment failed, the doctors attempted the pioneering treatment which involved collection of stem cells from Ciaran's bone marrow and seeding them into a collagen "skeleton" of a donor wind pipe. The operation was conducted at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital in March 2010.
As the wind pipe was utilizing Ciaran's own stem cells, his immune system did not reject the organ, allowing a successful completion to the surgery. Ciaran is said to have grown 11 inches in height and has returned to school.
"We need more research on stem cells grown deliberately inside the body, rather than grown first in a laboratory over a long time. This research should help to convert one-off successes such as this into more widely available clinical treatments for thousands of children with severe tracheal problems worldwide", Professor Martin Birchall, who was part of the transplantation team, said.