Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hannah Warren Receives New Trachea Constructed of Stem Cells

Dr. Mark J. Holterman serves as a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Illinois in Peoria. A member of the executive board of the Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies, Mark. J. Holterman, M.D., has a keen interest in the field of regenerative medicine. In 2013, he played a key role in a ground-breaking trachea transplant made of the patient’s own cells and bioengineered scaffolding.

Born with a rare condition called tracheal agenisis, Hannah Warren did not have the ability to breathe, swallow, eat, or drink on her own. On April 9, 2013, 32-month-old Hannah received an artificial windpipe constructed from her own stem cells and a synthetic scaffold. She was the first child who received a tissue-engineered, stem cell-based artificial trachea. The nine-hour surgery, completed by an international team of medical professionals at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, was successful.

Transplants using organs constructed of a patient’s own stem cells eliminate the risk of rejection by a patient’s immune system as well as a lifelong dependency on immunosuppressive drugs.

Unfortunately, Hannah Warren passed away several months after her surgery from unrelated medical conditions revealed after the tracheal transplant.

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