Technology may help cancer victims grow back their breasts

November 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm – 3 News / BreitbartTV
Dateline: Melbourne, Australia

“This is actually growing large pieces of tissue, which has never been done before. It is very exciting. We are very chuffed,”

Thu, 12 Nov 2009 5:24p.m.

Australian scientists are about to start human trials of world first technology that could help cancer victims re-grow their breasts.

The new technique, developed in Melbourne, will allow breast cancer victims to re-grow breasts within six months – eliminating the need for implants or cosmetic surgery.

“This is actually growing large pieces of tissue, which has never been done before. It is very exciting. We are very chuffed,” says Professor Wayne Morrison of the Bernard O’Brien Institute.

The technique has already been proven in pigs – which grew new breasts in just six weeks.

In Australia, 36 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day, and the scientists claim their revolutionary procedure will have physical and emotional benefits.

“These are young people with a very strong sense of body image,” says Mr O’Brien.

“This is a totally mutilating thing. Breast is a very worthwhile and noble pursuit.”

The trial could also change the cosmetic surgery industry.

“The exciting thing is that we are not using anyone else’s tissue – we are not using foreign silicone implants. We are evoking our own tissues to reproduce the embryo.”

Five women will undergo the experimental surgery within weeks ahead of a three-year-trial.

If successful, the technology could become widely available.

The experimental stem cell breast-growing technique is called Neopec.

Scientists will implant a synthetic breast-shaped chamber beneath the skin – effectively a scaffold for the breast to grow in. A blood vessel will be redirected to fat inside the chamber – special gel will stimulate tissue production.

The breast will grow over four to six months, and the chamber will then dissolve naturally.

But not everyone is convinced.

“When you put anything else in your body, especially fat cells that supposedly contain estrogen – in my case my cancer was estrogen positive. It’s just crazy,” says breast cancer survivor Tracey Dalton.

Sentiments echoed by Valerie Pennick of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

“To put fat cell in a breast, which clearly contains the female hormone estrogene, and breast cancer loves to feed estrogen – it just does not make total sense,” she says.

But the Melbourned scientists are not deterred and believe the breast replacement technique is just the beginning.

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