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Stem Cells and Craniofacial Diseases

A group of Spanish surgeons has pioneered a treatment for patients suffering from craniofacial diseases with a cellular product developed by an American stem cell company, according to the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the North American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. The new therapeutic approach uses stem cells derived from bone marrow to regenerate advanced facial bone and tissue loss. The Head and Neck Surgery Unit at Policlinico Lusense S A (POLUSA) Hospital in Lugo, Spain, which developed the therapy, applied this groundbreaking alternative treatment to 3 patients with the help of adult cultured stem cells.
Drs. Jose Mendonça Caridad and Dr. Pedro Juiz, of the Head and Neck Surgery Unit of POLUSA Hospital, treated their first patient for severe radionecrosis of the face, which was caused by radiation therapy. The patient suffered from nerve impairment, a pathological fracture, and complete necrosis of bone, muscle, and skin. Prolonged hospitalization and life-threatening events followed. At 12 months post stem cell treatment, the patient displayed new vessel formation, bone regeneration, fracture consolidation, and total nerve function recovery. Muscles later resumed function, and a radiation-devastated salivary gland soon reactivated. The doctors treated 2 additional patients who both exhibited advanced disease involving important bone loss and other nerve defects as a result of trauma and pathological resorption. Bone formed rapidly and nerve function fully recovered in these cases. All patients underwent minor surgery to receive dental implants in their newly regenerated jawbones. Eight weeks later, doctors attached the dental prosthesis to the implants, which completed the treatment objectives and restored oral function.
This research is one of the first of its kind to be published in a peer-reviewed international journal. The alternative stem cell treatment resulted from many years of research and practice in regenerative medicine. It uses a sophisticated system for the development of stem cell populations and innovative clinical procedures, which tend to encourage the stem cells to differentiate toward damaged tissue. Adult stem cells are found in all tissues of the human body, and can be collected and cultured to regenerate a donor’s damaged tissue. Adult stem cell therapy does not use human embryos.

(Source: PR News Channel, November 18, 2010)

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