Researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine have successfully grown and implanted vaginal organs into four teenage girls born with MRKH Syndrome, a rare condition in which the vagina is undeveloped. The scientists extracted the patient’s own stem cells and placed them onto a biodegradable scaffold of a vagina. The scaffolds were then implanted into the patient’s pelvis, and gradually the stem cells differentiated into a permanent, functional vagina.
Follow-up tests show that the vagina created from the patient’s own stem cells was indistinguishable with the surrounding native tissue. While current treatments for patients with MRKH Syndrome, such as surgical reconstruction, result in a 75% complication rate, the lab-engineered vaginas exhibit all normal structure and functions. The initial success of this treatment also shows potential for it to be applied to patients with vaginal cancer or injuries as well.
Innovative research such as this demonstrates the integral role stem cell therapies will soon play in cutting edge medical care options. By banking their own valuable stem cells, families can ensure that they will have access to these emerging therapies in the near future. To learn more about banking stem cells, please visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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