Mastectomy Patients Could Soon Regrow Their Own BreastsS

Implants could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers have developed a new technique to regrow breasts on pigs using their own tissue — and it's ready to be tested on human mastectomy patients.

Phillip Marzella from the Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery is part of the team that developed Neopec, the new stem cell technique for regrowing breast tissue. The researchers implant a chamber containing some of the individual's own fat tissue under the skin. The chamber is connected to the individual's blood vessels, and fat then grows to fill the chamber, creating a new breast. The chamber itself degrades naturally over time.

Marzella's team has had success with Neopec in pig trials, with the pigs growing new breasts in just six weeks. In the next three to six months, they plan to start a human trial on women who have had partial or total mastectomies. Marzella says that he hopes the technique will someday alleviate at least one aspect of the breast cancer diagnosis, and says that while Neopec might have some cosmetic applications down the road, he doesn't see it being used for cosmetic purposes in the next 10 years.

Australian scientists to start 'breast regrowth' trial [Telegraph via PopSci]