Thursday, October 21, 2010

Breasts Are Key to Future Medical Breakthroughs

Sharon Begley of Wired Magazine wrote this exhaustive piece on a medical technology researcher who has discovered a method for regenerating breast tissue lost to mastectomy.


A few taps on his laptop reveal the unsettling “before” images of these seemingly normal breasts. There: a breast with a divot the size of a plum taken out of the bottom from a lumpectomy. There: a chest as flat as a floor mat from a double mastectomy. There: one so misshapen after a partial mastectomy, it’s possible to determine what it actually is only because of its healthy companion.

“We realized that for these women there was a huge unmet need for a disruptive change in technology,” Calhoun says of the work that has consumed his team of researchers and surgeons for the past eight years. “It’s the first practical cell therapy.” He pauses. “And it’s breasts.” Which means cancer victims with breasts mutilated by surgery—as well as women who are simply unhappy with their natural assets—can now grow a new and improved pair, with raw materials harvested from their own body fat.


Most significantly though, is the fact that this new method shows the potential to regrow even more tissue, including the heart, muscle, and kidneys.

You can read the entire article here on Wired.com (it's a doozy).