(STOCKHOLM, Sweden) -- Doctors in Sweden have saved the life of a man who was diagnosed with cancer of the windpipe by replacing the bad organ with a good one made in a lab.
The procedure, performed less than a month ago at Karolinska University Hospital, proved to be so successful that the man is now considered cancer-free and is leaving the hospital on Friday.
Paolo Macchiarini, who carried out the windpipe transplant, admitted that before the operation the patient "was condemned to die."
If the man continues on the road to good health, it would mark a significant accomplishment in the field of regenerative medicine. It's especially promising for those suffering from tracheal cancer or other diseases affecting the windpipe.
While the patient in Sweden was in critical condition, the decision was made to manufacture an artificial windpipe rather than wait for a suitable one from a cadaver.
The reason the transplant worked and why the new windpipe wasn't rejected was because scientists used cells from the patient to seed the organ.
They cautioned that this procedure may not be immediately effective with other complex organs such as the heart, which has thicker tissue.
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