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The Findings are Uplifting
October 21, 2010 11:41 AM   Subscribe

An awkward moment at the diner (complete with startled waiter) leads into a lengthy article about regrowing breasts from stem cells that are themselves harvested from liposuction, the procedure of which has been undergoing trials and continual improvement since 2006. The FDA has yet to approve it in the USA. (maybe NSFW sideboobs)

One of the reasons that breasts are being focused on for right now is that breast augmentation (both medical and elective) is a $964 million industry in the US alone, beating out nose jobs and liposuction since 2007, and that breast cancer diagnoses has risen 16% overall in the last 35 years (there is still a 12% chance to develop in women), with breast cancer survivor rates increasing 15% in the same period - which means there are more women looking into this, both for self-image and relationship reasons. The researcher are going where the money is to fund further research into the regenerative medicine technique can be used for other organs such as the heart and kidneys.
posted by Old'n'Busted (19 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Something else driving the breast reconstruction (different from augmentation) business is that younger women are having mastectomies since the advent of BRCA1/2 testing.
posted by Mister_A at 11:44 AM on October 21, 2010


You're correct, I conflated augmentation to include both reconstruction+augmentation, when I should have more clearly separated them out.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:57 AM on October 21, 2010


lifted and separated them out.
posted by Kabanos at 12:04 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looks like it is approved for use in the EU.
posted by Kabanos at 12:12 PM on October 21, 2010


Breasts are a variable mix of tissue, not just fat: "The percentage of fat volume in the total breast volume varied from 7 to 56% and the percentage of fat weight in the total breast weight varied from 3.6 to 37.6%." I guess this is why they are focusing on excision wounds rather than total mastectomies. It might work for breast augmentation if the recipient is in the "low fat content" population. The high fat content patients might look ... odd ... afterwards.
posted by benzenedream at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are there any before and after pictures? Because the Wired article just seemed to contain some half naked model for some reason. It would be nice to know if we're looking at something like the face transplant, where things went from horrifying to less horrifying, or if this is Future Is Now stuff.
posted by geoff. at 12:20 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't have it at work, geoff., but when I went looking for a friend of mine, who is unhappy with her chestal situation, some of the after pictures, well, they looked like breasts, just upsized from before. The whole breast size and shape obsession more or less passed me by, so I am hardly a connoisseur; perhaps someone else could locate details and nuances I had overlooked. I saw nothing that looked out of the ordinary or like it belonged on AwfulPlasticSurgery.com, though.
posted by adipocere at 12:34 PM on October 21, 2010


Hmmm. Can we cull Ron Jeremy's DNA and produce stem cells with it? Just had a good idea for a growth industry...
posted by Xoebe at 12:57 PM on October 21, 2010


From Cytori's site:

"a family of products designed for the extraction and concentration of stem and regenerative cells from adipose tissue"

*looks behind him, leans back in chair, loosens collar*

Wow, that's hot.

(srsly, tho, this could be a really big deal, especially to some of the cancer patients that I see regularly.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:03 PM on October 21, 2010


While I guess this will be a titillating subject, and it's hard to call out for before/after pictures without seeming a pervert... this makes perfect sense. By being mostly elective, almost purely cosmetic, and not affecting a vital body part or organ, breast augmentation/enhancement/repair is the perfect field to test these procedures before progressing to critical organs. You'll have a large willing field of volunteers- most of whom would pay above cost which is awesome for research funding purposes- who will also be (at least in the cases of lumpectomies and mastectomies) very forgiving of the setbacks and mishaps as you perfect the procedures. Considering how many women already get lousy plastic surgeries for their breasts, something that didn't leave hideous scars or have odd lumpiness would be like having a license to print money.

And since the goal is to get good enough to be doing this for surgeries that matter, it's kind of awesome. Is there any other form of surgery like it in terms of those characteristics and benefits for research trials?
posted by hincandenza at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2010


Hmmm. Can we cull Ron Jeremy's DNA and produce stem cells with it? Just had a good idea for a growth industry...

Arrgh! Xoebe, I've been emailing you about that very subject for 5 years.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:20 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because the Wired article just seemed to contain some half naked model for some reason.

It is a publishing cliché at this point: breast cancer stories are wide-open opportunities for editors to put a shot of naked wimmin on the front page (as long as there is no areola or nipple showing), it's fine. Traditionally the no-no regions are covered by the model's hands; here it is a bit of text.

Oddly, I have never seen a story on testicular cancer illustrated by a naked guy cupping his bits.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:40 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I recall news about a Japanese firm having success with this. I cannot find it at the moment, it was somewhere around 2005 I think? Anyone know what I am talking about?
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:57 PM on October 21, 2010


Something else driving the breast reconstruction (different from augmentation) business is that younger women are having mastectomies since the advent of BRCA1/2 testing.

What's the cancer risk for tissue rebuilt in this manner, though? This doesn't seem like it solves anything to me, since after repairing the preventative mastectomy you'd just be back where you started.
posted by heathkit at 2:24 PM on October 21, 2010


Before and afters, Austria, and Japan.
posted by newpotato at 4:52 PM on October 21, 2010


Whoah. The before and after for Patient #12 on this page (NSFW) from the "Austria" link above looks phenomenal. Still, I'd be curious to see more reconstructive post-mastectomy/lumpectomy photos and fewer "i can haz bigger boobies" photos. And, as noted, no one is quite sure yet about the long-term health effects of this sort of thing. But these results look totally natural, which is amazing.
posted by Asparagirl at 7:37 PM on October 21, 2010


And the process leaves no scars at all! Which, for those of us who unfortunately have a genetic predispoistion to developing keloid scarring, is a big friggin' deal.
posted by Asparagirl at 7:42 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Even more clinics for the fundies to bomb
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:42 PM on October 21, 2010


Can we cull Ron Jeremy's DNA and produce stem cells with it? Just had a good idea for a growth industry...

It looks like parts of your plan will be surprisingly easy to implement.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:04 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


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