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Jawbone Reconstructed from Stem Cells

Medical Research Stem Cells 2004

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#1 RommieSG

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:32 PM

Quote

by Emma Ross
The Associated Press


LONDON - A German who had his lower jaw cut out because of cancer has enjoyed his first meal in nine years - a bratwurst sandwich - after surgeons grew a new jawbone in his back muscle and transplanted it to his mouth in what experts call an "ambitious" experiment.

According to this week's issue of The Lancet medical journal, the German doctors used a mesh cage, a growth chemical and the patient's own bone marrow, containing stem cells, to create a new jawbone that fit exactly into the gap left by the cancer surgery.

Tests have not been done yet to verify whether the bone was created by the blank-slate stem cells and it is too early to tell whether the jaw will function normally in the long term. But the operation is the first published report of a whole bone being engineered and incubated inside a patient's body and transplanted.

Stem cells are the master cells of the body that go on to become every tissue in the body. They are a hot area of research with scientists trying to find ways to prompt them to make desired tissues, and perhaps organs.

But while researchers debate whether the technique resulted in a scientific advance involving stem cells, the operation has achieved its purpose and changed a life, said Stan Gronthos, a stem cell expert a the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide, Australia.

"A patient who had previously lost his mandible (lower jaw) through the result of a destructive tumor can now sit down and chew his first solid meals in nine years...resulting in an improved quality of life," said Gronthos, who was not connected with the experiment.

The operation was done by Dr. Patrick Warnke, a reconstructive facial surgeon at the University of Kiel in Germany. The patient, a 56-year-old man, had his lower jaw and half his tongue cut out almost a decade ago after getting mouth cancer. Since then, he had only been able to slurp soft food or soup from a spoon.

In similar cases, doctors can sometimes replace a lost jawbone by cutting out a piece of bone from the lower leg or from the hip and chiseling it to fit into the mouth.

This patient could not have that procedure because he was taking a potent blood thinner for another condition and doctors considered it too dangerous to harvest bone from elsewhere in his body since extraction leaves a hole where the bone is taken, creating an extra risk of bleeding.

Artificial jaws made from plastic or other materials are not used because they pose too much of a risk of infection.

"He demanded reconstruction," Warnke said. "This patient was really sick of living."

Warnke and his group began by creating a virtual jaw on a computer, after making a three-dimensional scan of the patient's mouth.

The information was used to create a thin titanium micro-mesh cage. Several cow-derived pure bone mineral blocks the size of sugar lumps were then put inside the structure, along with a human growth factor that bulds bone and a large squirt of blood extracted from the man's bone marrow, which contains stem cells.

The surgeons then implanted the mesh cage and its contents into the muscle below the patient's right shoulder blade. He was given no drugs, other than routine antibiotics to prevent infection from the surgery.

The implant was left in for seven weeks, when scans showed new bone formation. It was removed about eight weeks ago, along with some surrounding muscle and blood vessels, put in the man's mouth and connected to the blood vessels in his neck.

Scans showed new bone continued to forum after the transplant.

I think that this shows that Stem Cell research can truly be beneficial, and not against human nature. Now perhaps total cloning of people would be out of the question, but in cases such as these, it can truly make a difference.

A man can actually eat after nine years of losing his jaw. How many people out there have lost a part of their body, that we all take for granted. Perhaps with further research, such things can be made possible.

Is it right to prevent such research?

Rommie :cylon:
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#2 Godeskian

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:35 PM

hot damn.

That is awesome, thanks for posting Rommie.

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#3 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:35 PM

Adult stem cells--as were used here--have apparently been proven to be much more effective than embryonic stem cells, because with embryonic stem cells, you really don't know what you're going to get.

And just to clarify, there is no ban on stem cell research, in spite of what the Democratic party tells you.
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#4 RommieSG

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:37 PM

Cyberhippie, on Aug 27 2004, 12:33 PM, said:

hot damn.

That is awesome, thanks for posting Rommie.
It took me about 10 minutes to type it out of the newspaper! :lol:

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#5 Godeskian

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:38 PM

I hadn't seen anything about it on the BBC, so thank you Rommie. This is fantastic news.Think of the possibilities.

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#6 RommieSG

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:41 PM

The part about stem cell research that I've always found fascinating, was the fact that they could possibly develop new organs, such as lungs, liver, kidneys........and there would be far less chance of rejection by the body.......because it was made from your body.

So if you get a collapsed lung, and need a transplant...........voila.......you'd be able to replace it with one of your own, essentially.

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#7 Godeskian

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:59 PM

and teeth

How many of you have had to have a teeth pulled, I would love to have this god awfull fake tooth removed from my mouth and a new tooth regrown.

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#8 RommieSG

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 03:08 PM

I could use a whole new mouth full of teeth, personally. ;)

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#9 Rhea

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 03:49 PM

:cool:  :cool:

Just to clarify, the no-federal-funds-for-stem-cell-research (except for existing lines) ban HAS effectively halted a lot of the stem cell research in this country.

Many of the finest research institutions in this country, both public and private, rely almost exclusively on National Institute of Health grants.

For instance, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco was one of my clients for many years. They are the single largest eye research facility in the world, and doctors come from all over the world to do research there.

They have literally hundreds of NIH grants, which funds almost all of their research.

If they were to put into place a federal ban on eye research monies, Smith-Kettlewell would literally have to close their doors.  :eek:

So basically no federally funded stem cell research = basically NO stem cell research in the U.S.

Edited by Rhea, 27 August 2004 - 04:33 PM.

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#10 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 03:58 PM

Rhea, on Aug 27 2004, 03:47 PM, said:

So basically no federally funded stem cell research = basically NO stem cell research in the U.S.
But the fact is that there isn't a ban on federal funding of stem cell research. There is a ban on federal funding only for the harvesting of more embryonic stem cells. The federal government, under the current administration, has actually increased funding for stem cell research.
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#11 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 04:15 PM

From http://www.georgewbu...ad.aspx?ID=3226

Quote

Setting the Record Straight: Stem Cell Research

Kerry's Claim: "Three Years Ago, The President Enacted A Far-Reaching Ban On Stem Cell Research." KERRY: "Three years ago, the President enacted a far-reaching ban on stem cell research, shutting down some of the most promising work to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, AIDS and so many other life-threatening diseases." (Sen. John Kerry, Democratic Response To The President's Weekly Radio Address, 8/7/04)

The Truth: Kerry's misleading claim is designed to obscure the truth from the public. President Bush did not ban stem cell research, but is actually the first president to fund stem cell research. Federal funding of stem cell research prior to the President's decision was $0. The President's 2003 budget included $24.8 million for human embryonic stem cell research, an increase of 132 percent from 2002 and $190 million in funding for adult stem cells. There is no ban on private research of stem cells at all.

The President balanced this decision with the position that we should not cross a fundamental moral line by using federal funds to encourage or support the destruction of a human embryo. This principle receives broad support internationally, with many European countries--including France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Ireland--banning altogether the destruction of human embryos to create stem cell lines.

Charles Krauthammer said of Kerry's claim, "Look, I personally support expansion of some of the federal funding of stem cell research. But you're absolutely right, the ban that they speak about is simply a lie. It is legal in the country of course; it always has been. Private universities are working hard on it. Secondly, there was a ban on the federal funding right through the Clinton years. They never spent a penny on stem cells. The person who lifted the ban was President Bush when he made his speech in August of 2001. So, the federal, right now the federal government is spending $25 million on stem cell research. So, to talk about a ban I think is simply to mislead Americans deliberately."

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#12 Rhea

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 04:30 PM

Drew, on Aug 27 2004, 12:56 PM, said:

Rhea, on Aug 27 2004, 03:47 PM, said:

So basically no federally funded stem cell research = basically NO stem cell research in the U.S.
But the fact is that there isn't a ban on federal funding of stem cell research. There is a ban on federal funding only for the harvesting of more embryonic stem cells. The federal government, under the current administration, has actually increased funding for stem cell research.
I'm tired of this piece of misinformation, so let's start over again from the top. And Drew, next time try reading the available info instead of posting Bush campaign propaganda. :p

Here is the info I posted when Bush put the ban into effect:

Quote

Therapeutic Uses of Embryonic Stem Cells:

Cure for diseases involving irreversible cell damage including Parkinson's, some heart conditions, diabetes, and leukemia.

Spinal cord injuries

Patients who have had chemotherapy (which destroys bone marrow stem cells)

Alzheimer's

Stroke

Muscular Dystrophy

Various genetic diseases


What are stem cells?

An embryonic stem cell is pluripotent, meaning that it has the ability to give grow into any other cell type - they are there throughout the life of an organism but remain undifferentiated until they're given the signal to turn into something specific - skin, heart, bone, etc.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from fetal tissue (before it implants itself in the uterus)
Embryonic germ cells are derived from 5 to 10 week old fetuses

Why don't we use adult stem cells?

Difficult to isolate, identify and purify

Way too few of them

Do not replicate indefinitely in a culture vs. embryonic stem cells

Mostly not pluripotent (although research suggest we may figure out how to coax them into being so down the road)

Notice: Here's where the politics come in

President Bush approved research only in existing embryonic stem cell lines. According to the NIH, 78 such lines exist:

BresaGyn Inc., Athens, Georgia - 4

CyThera Inc., San Diego, CA - 9

EsCell International, Melbourne, Australia - 6

Geron Corporation, Menlo Park, CA - 7

Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden - 19

Karolinksa Institute, Stockholm, Sweden - 6

Maria Biotech Co. Ltd. - Maria Infertility Hospital Medical Institute, Seoul, South Korea - 3

MizMedi Hospital - Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea - 1

National Centre for Biological Sciences/Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India - 7

Pochon CHA University, Seoul, Korea - 2

Reliance Life Sciences, Mumbai, India - 7

Technion University, Haifa, Israel - 4

University of California, San Francisco - 2

Wisconsin Alumi Research Foundation, Madison Wisconsin - 5


If you read the list carefully, you'll note that's a grand total of only 14 sites wordwide with embryonic stem cell lines, and many of them are private, with absolutely no obligation to share ANYTHING.

Some of those lines could get stale or crash. 4 of the 6 lines created by one U.S. biotech firm are turning unstable.

There's a backlog of requests dating years.

This is from the World Health Organization:

http://www.worldheal...p/416,1974.html

Quote

Donald Kennedy, editor in chief of Science, says the restrictions on the creation of human embryonic stem-cell lines are not ''sound policy.'' His editorial is one of three related articles in the respected journal involving major players in this field, signaling a renewed public debate. At issue is Bush's statement Aug. 9, 2001, banning the use of federal money for research on human stem-cell lines -- colonies of cells from a single embryo -- that were created before his speech.

Kennedy says that without the ability to create new stem-cell lines, the USA is likely to lose to other countries its best and brightest researchers in a field that has the potential to cure such scourges as Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer.

Leon Kass, chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, said it would be ''premature to comment'' before the council issues its own report. Kennedy notes that although Bush announced that 70 cell lines would be available, only 11 are. And because all of those lines used mouse cells to help them grow, none can be used in human therapy because of concerns about infections and immune responses from the mouse cells.

But since the ban, scientists have learned how to culture human stem cell lines without using mouse cells, Kennedy says. ''We have the capacity to do new things with much better lines, and there is no good scientific and precious little ethical or political reason for sticking to the Aug. 9 ban any more.''

Stem cell research is, however, being done by the Defense Department (doesn't that seem twisted?), but  they're only using two existing Swedish stem cell lines and it is Parkinsons' related.

This is a link to the NIH stem cell info:

http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/

Care to tell me again how much stem cell research is being done in the US right now? The Bush campaign machine is fond of quoting misleading statistics. The reality is something quite different.

Edited by Rhea, 27 August 2004 - 04:37 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#13 Delvo

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 01:28 AM

I had no idea they were anywhere near being able to pull something like this off yet; I would have expected to hear more about the intermediate stages of the research's development, like being able to produce simple unstructured tissues before moving on to complex hard constructions, or "clinical trials" before it was used on "patients". I guess, now that I think of it, this really was a clinical trial in a way, since he was apparently the first it was done on. It's just hard to put together a group with the traditionally large number of subjects for a situation where each case is unique and there aren't many of them, so each patient is bound to be his/her own experiment for a while.

I notice that they used his OWN stem cells from bone marrow. That means it's his own body part. Usually, when the subject is talked about, people make it seem as if the stem cells used would be fetal, which would mean the party part grown is not the patient's own body, but someone else's, but I'd always figured this must be the way it would really go anyway...

#14 Shaun

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 08:04 AM

I saw this on Channel 4 news last night. It's simply amazing what can be done these days.
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