You are here

Good news for bladder disease sufferers

4th April 2006


Bladder disease sufferers could get a new transplant hope according to the latest research from the US.

Scientists there have managed to successfully implant tissue-engineered bladders into patients and report long-term success.

In a report in today's publication of the Lancet, scientists at Wake Forest university medical school in the US grew bladders from patients' own cells. Dr Anthony Atala, who led the study, states: "The implanted composite engineered bladders showed improved functional parameters that were durable over a period of years."

At present, bladder disease sufferers are treated with grafts from their small intestine but this can lead to complications.

However, without treatment, high pressure from bladders can lead to kidney damage.

Dr Atala and colleagues chose seven patients aged between four and 19 and their cells were then grown on a bladder-shaped scaffold for seven to eight weeks.

The engineered bladder was then surgically attached to the patient's own bladder and progress was monitored for between two and five years.

While warning that further study was needed to check the procedure was stable for longer than five years, Dr Atala said it could lead to a widespread use of the method.