Here's an amazing story from Spain: a woman has been given a new windpipe that was grown in a lab from her own cells.

Four months later she was able to climb two flights of stairs, go dancing and look after her children – activities that had been impossible before the surgery. Ms Castillo has also crossed a second medical frontier by becoming the first person to receive a whole organ transplant without the need for powerful immunosuppressant drugs.

Doctors overcame the problem of rejection by taking her own stem cells to grow the replacement organ, using a donor trachea (lower windpipe) to provide the mechanical framework. Blood tests have shown no sign of rejection months after the surgery was complete.

Speaking at a press conference in London yesterday, called to announce the results, Professor Martin Birchall, an ear, nose and throat surgeon from the University of Bristol who collaborated on the case, said: "This is just the beginning. I think it will completely transform the way we think about surgery.

"In 20 years' time the commonest surgical operations will be regenerative procedures to replace organs and tissues damaged by disease with autologous [self-grown] tissues and organs from the laboratory. We are on the verge of a new age in surgical care."

Faster please!

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