Genetics

14 October 2009

Teen 'grows' new cheekbones

Donor bone and stem cells were used to grow new cheekbones in a teen with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome, in which bones in the face don't develop.

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Donor bone and stem cells were used to grow new cheekbones in an American teen with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome, in which bones in the face don't develop.

This successful procedure could help other patients with similar genetic conditions or those who've lost bone due to traumatic injuries, said doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre who operated for eight hours on 15-year-old Brad Guilkey, ABC News reported.

Cadaver bone was implanted into Brad's face and then the teen's own stem cells were injected into the donor bone. The experimental procedure was performed in May and Brad now has solid bone in his cheeks.

"I've been really pleasantly surprised by the results of this," operation, which could have significant implications for millions of people, said Dr Jesse Taylor, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre.

"Certainly, as we're engaged in conflicts abroad, more and more young men and women come back with really severe facial disfigurement from a lack of bone," Taylor said. – (HealthDay News, October 2009)

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