Ciaran Finn-Lynch and family
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Landmark stem cell surgery offers new windpipe transplant hope

Pioneering surgery to rebuild an 11-year-old boy's windpipe using his own stem cells has been hailed as a success by doctors.

Ciaran Finn-Lynch became the first child in the world to undergo the pioneering trachea transplant in March, in only the second successful operation of its type. Doctors took stem cells from his bone marrow and injected them into a donor windpipe, before implanting the organ in Ciaran and allowing the cells to transform themselves in his body.

By using his own cells, doctors hoped to avoid the potential problem of Ciaran's immune system rejecting the organ - a technique which could now be used more widely.

Sophie Hutchinson reports.

  • 06 Aug 2010