Stem Cell-Engineered Windpipe for Cancer Patients

While this procedure was seemingly successful in a small number of patients, Lambright said it is still early to tell if the procedure works for a larger number of patients.

"We are a long ways away from knowing whether or not any of this has real durable application," said Lambright.

Still, Goldstein said this latest procedure builds on the innovative work by Macchiarini to find a treatment for an otherwise fatal disease.

"It's potentially very exciting," said Goldstein. "The goal for this entire field is to generate new organs and replacement organs, and this is a step in the right direction."

Iannettoni said this procedure could pave the way for other challenging transplants including the heart valve and the esophagus.

"The possibilities are endless once we unlock the potential for bioengineering," said Iannettoni.

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