You would think something like a nose growing in the middle of a woman's back would cause scientists to step back and think before doing some of this stuff. You would think...
by Clare Wilson
by Clare Wilson
Cells taken from the nose may have great potential (Image: Getty Images/WIN-Initiative)
A woman in the US has developed a tumour-like growth eight years after a stem cell treatment to cure her paralysis failed. There have been a handful of cases of stem cell treatments causing growths but this appears to be the first in which the treatment was given at a Western hospital as part of an approved clinical trial.
At a hospital in Portugal, the unnamed woman, a US citizen, had tissue containing olfactory stem cells taken from her nose and implanted in her spine. The hope was that these cells would develop into neural cells and help repair the nerve damage to the woman's spine. The treatment did not work – far from it. Last year the woman, then 28, underwent surgery because of worsening pain at the implant site.
The surgeons removed a 3-centimetre-long growth, which was found to be mainly nasal tissue, as well as bits of bone and tiny nerve branches that had not connected with the spinal nerves.
The growth wasn't cancerous, but it was secreting a "thick copious mucus-like material", which is probably why it was pressing painfully on her spine, says Brian Dlouhy at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, the neurosurgeon who removed the growth. The results of the surgery have now been published.
Read the rest of this article at - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25859-stem-cell-treatment-causes-nasal-growth-in-womans-back.html#.U79y1MJOWM_