Rounding up with Fat Stem Cells

25. September 2007

A dream might come true: Some ladies' too chubby buttocks, their belly with a few pads too many are becoming the most wonderful bosom within a few months. But hopefully those 60% of women would profit from breast build-up by stem cells as well who need a reconstruction after breast cancer.

A newprocedure might make silicone look rather dull. The new breast grown from ownfat stem cells does not require any complex surgery plus it does look verynatural – as Japanese scientists indicate during the conference of the Weltverbandes derPlastischen Chirurgen (International Confederation for Plastic,Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery – IPRAS) in Berlin.

Regrowing breasts

The newprinciple of breast buid-up is named "Celution®-System" and was testedon 19 Japanese patients with breast cancer and partial mastectomy in a clinical safety-and feasibility study. After taking small fat tissue samples from one or morebody fat depots, the scientists attained fat stem cells in just about one hourwith the aid of a device made by the Californian biotechnology company "Cytori Therapeutics".They enriched those stem cells in the Celution®-System. Following injections ofthe cell mixture with multi-potent cells in affected regions of the breast andthe subcutaneous tissue let the breast tissue grow in the following six months.Just how exactly this works, is not clear yet. Presumably stem cells stimulate the supply of new blood vessels as well, since the new tissue is wellsupplied with blood, informs the July edition of the magazine "Chemistry& Industry".

Fat tissue – a rich source

More than ayear ago Cytori Therapeutics published a press release at the beginning of thestudies. "We think of fat tissue as an important source for stem cells and otherregenerative cells taking a major role in repair- and healing process", saysKeizo Sugimachi, president of the Kyushu Central Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan, who planned thestudies using the Celution®-System. The US-company has already received theauthorization for the system in Germany. The launch is planned for spring 2008.European studies with breast cancer patients should be concluded by then.

A higher cancer risk?

Therapies withown body fat are already used mainly in Japan and the United States. Butwherever you have advantages, disadvantages are not too far off. The risk ofusing own fat lays in the possibility that it can disintegrate as well. Itmight be necessary to repeat the proces several times. But the new procedure issupposed to eliminate this. The development of stem cells into different celltypes enables the connection to the breast tissue. But stem cells containing ahigher tumor risk sounds just the more ironic in regard to cancer therapy. Theless differentiated the cell, the higher the risk. So there are sceptics aswell as supporters of the therapy such as for example Karl-Georg Heinrich,plastic surgeon from Vienna. He already offers this method to his patients.Bodyforming by stem cells seems to be suitable for sundry body regions and itdoes not stop for wrinkles as well. Is "stem cell therapy" the name of the allround solution for rejuvenation and problem areas? Professor Raymund Horch,head of the department for hand- and plastic surgery at the UniversitätsklinikErlangen (university hospital) is a supporter of stem cell research, butwarns of any remote damages not known so far.

Another disadvantage: The procedure is cost-intensive because the cellenrichment requires an own laboratory. Japanese women pay up to 25,000 Dollarfor a "stem cell breast". Conventional procedures including the method of ownfat implantations are considerably lower priced.

Stem cells go to the heart

Perhaps,fat stem cells are not just good for bosom, butt & co. They could alsoprotect heart patients, thus shown in animal tests. A Spanish hospital isalready planning a study with coronary patients and several Dutch physicianswant to be able to help their future patients after a heart attack with thismethod.

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