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  • Growing a new bladder

    Saw this article on the internet. This fellow had a flatten bladder, and the scientists and doctors were able to grow him a new one from his own cells. He is now functioning normally and has a good life. Maybe one day this can be used to help ICers.

    Source < http://www.courant.com/health/connec...411,full.story >

    UConn Student Owes His Normal Life To A 'Regenerated' Bladder

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    A University of Connecticut sophomore gets a national TV spotlight next week as a leading example of a medical miracle.

    Madison resident Lucas Massella, 20, was born with spina bifida and underwent an experimental process a decade ago that replaced his faltering bladder with one of the first to ever be "grown" in a laboratory.

    It's not an artificial organ exactly, but a new one created with his own cells. The operation on then 10-year-old Lucas, one of the first examples of "regenerative medicine," is a focus of the special "Explorer: How To Build a Beating Heart" Monday on the National Geographic Channel. It looks at the efforts to regenerate damaged, gaining or diseased body parts.

    "I was actually in full-out kidney failure," Massella says in the film. "That's when they decided needed something and fast." Massella's deteriorating bladder was backing up into his kidney.

    "The question was: Why not make an organ that actually belongs there?" says Dr. Anthony Atala, a scientist in the field of regenerative medicine who grew Massella a new bladder in the lab at Children's Hospital Boston using the youngster's own stem cells.

    It's one of several startling examples in the report, which also shows the famous mouse with a human ear attached and a man whose regenerated fingertip ended up with the same fingerprint as the one he accidentally sliced off.

    For all that his successful new organ represents, few would now guess that Massella was once sickly.

    "When I was born, they weren't sure if I was going to be able to walk," Massella said in a recent interview. "As I got older, I did start to walk and stuff. I do remember when I was 3 or 4, I had to wear braces on the legs to help me walk."

    Massella was in and out of the hospital for repeated spinal-cord-repair surgeries.

    "I had about 16 altogether," he said, "probably the majority of them before I was 10. Since I was 10, I've only had four surgeries."

    That's because of the experimental procedure, which came when things were the worst for him.

    "I remember being really scared when they said I'd be in kidney failure," he said.

    Without the new bladder, he said, "I was probably looking at a lifetime of dialysis. I wouldn't be eligible to have a kidney transplant because my bladder was messed up. So dialysis was my only other option."

    But the decision wasn't his. "My mom definitely had a hard decision to make because it was a hard surgery and experimental," Massella said.

    "I was one of the first of to have it," he said. "It sounded pretty crazy, but not as crazy as it does now."

    The experiment involved building a new bladder in the lab by infusing Massella's own cells into a small, bladder-sized mold.

    The process was surprisingly fast. "What they did was, in June, they took a little piece of my bladder out, used the cells to grow it into its own bladder [during the summer]."

    The cells were dripped on a mold, a three-dimensional, biodegradable "scaffold," that had the appearance of a bladder. "It looks like a small cast" said Massella, who is seen in the film turning the baseball-sized mold in his hands.

    "Wow," he said. "Weird."

    Once the cells had started forming a new bladder on the mold, the whole thing was implanted in his body. The mold "completely dissolved once the cells took over after it was put inside me," he said. "My body took to it right away."

    After a month in the hospital and two months of bed rest at home, "I felt a lot better. By that winter, I was playing basketball."

    Massella was partly inspired to get back in action by his twin brother, Zach.

    "That was a good motivation to get better — to get in competition with him. That was fun."

    As he grew up, he limited his sports to baseball and wrestling, which became his favorite. He became captain of the wrestling team at Madison's Daniel Hand High School and led them to a conference championship.

    And still the other athletes didn't know they were grappling with a guy who had an organ grown in a lab.

    "A few of my friends and teammates did know," Massella says. "And my coach did — he was my neighbor when that was going on."

    But "my opponents never knew it. Only a couple of friends. To most people just a normal kid, and that's what I like."

    Massella graduated from Hand in 2009 and enrolled at UConn, where just last week he declared a major in communications. Some children who have been through so much medically want to go into medicine, but not Massella.

    "I did think about that when I was younger," he said. "But I've been in enough hospitals."

    At college, he's still playing sports, but "just intramural basketball, intramural flag football. Just having fun."

    His medical miracle has mostly been unheralded on campus, but he'll be having a viewing party of the National Geographic special when it airs Monday.

    "Hopefully, they'll see me as the same kid," he said. "But I did go through some stuff."

    He learned a bit about what he went through in the documentary as well.

    "I have so much of a better understanding of exactly what they did in mine and some of the other procedures."

    To help promote the special, Massella and his mother were flown out to Los Angeles last month to take part in the TV Critics Association winter press tour. As part of a National Geographic panel, he was a celebrity for a day.

    "It was crazy," Massella said. "I couldn't believe it, walking around meeting people with crazy stories. I felt my story was nothing compared to others."

    On a National Geographic panel with him was the subject of another documentary: reporter Terry Anderson, who was kidnapped in Beirut in 1985 and kept in captivity for seven years.

    "He really stood out," Massella said. "I felt like a movie star, even though I'm not."
    Trying to figure this mess out!

  • #2
    Wow. I do wonder if this could be used in IC treatment. I always wondered why they didn't just replace our bladders with ones that did work. Though for this to work I would think some genetic modification would have to happen, if IC ends up being a genetic issue.
    Clark College Junior, wanting to go to UW for Fine Art Degree
    Major: Fine Art
    Taking a course in medical transcription, must work from home
    IC diagnosed 07/07
    PFD developed sometime during late 07
    Uterine Cyst removed 12/09
    Chronic Pelvic pain developed in 09
    Chronic Back Pain developed in 09
    Possible vulvodynia

    Medications: Elmiron, Detrol LA, BC, Prosed DS, Celexa for anxiety, depression, and pain,
    No longer taking: Atarax (No help),Amytriptalene (no effect, became suicidal), Ditropan (no effect), Probiotics (sick to stomach), Bactrim (hopefully cleared up my UTI!), avoiding Pyridium unless absolutely needed (sick to stomach), Prozac (helped anxiety, no pain relief), Pamelor (gained nearly 20 lbs in a short time, no anxiety relief), Valium, Vicodin, percocet (none of these meds even touch my pain >_<)

    Current Therapies: acupuncture, heat, Vicodin if needed, lots of laying down, gaming as a distraction, Pain Management classes started 9/22, Wanting to try TENS therapy

    Comment


    • #3
      I've read about this before. I got really excited until I learned that IC is an auto-immune issue (or at least that is what my doc said)... It isn't the bladder that was bad, it is the fact that your immune system attacks your bladder...

      Definition: Autoimmunity is the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as self, which allows an immune response against its own cells and tissues.

      So essentially, the new grown bladder would be awesome for maybe a couple of years, then your body would have attacked it enough that the new bladder will start having IC symptoms again... very depressing.

      Basically, my hope is to participate in any study I can so I can help researchers learn more about IC and potentially cure it... Here is a wonderful website to show current studies and finished studies.. I'm actually going to participate in a new study here shortly and I encourage all of us to try to help one another out and let researchers "exam" us!

      http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/search?...BCONDITIONS%5D

      Comment


      • #4
        Iiii
        Last edited by bluegoo06; 09-11-2019, 08:27 AM.
        Trying to figure this mess out!

        Comment


        • #5
          I my goodness for those of us who don't get any relief why don't the doctors grow them a new bladder? I have a funny feeling that its all about money is why its not done. Money is the root and seed of evil.
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          Comment


          • #6
            If they find the cause(s) maybe they will find a cure. Research funding is always an issue, and IC is not on the top of the list unfortunately. Many other more "famous" diseases ahead of us.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree Bob

              I agree with Bob. There are more *famous*diseases ahead of us. I have the *Michael J. Fox* disease, Parkinson's, so I see how that goes. My IC is secondary and my other problems are waiting in line to be discovered. Until someone famous gets IC or spinal stenosis or one of the others on my list I will just have to wait them out. And as far as someone growing me a new bladder, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first clinical trial of a human embryonic stem-cell therapy to treat patients with spinal cord injuries and if stem cells are going to eventually be used as part of the Atala program (Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, grows human bladders, and has implanted more than two dozen of them in human patients since 2006) people may start to scream and yell the way they did during the Bush administration when stem cell was mentioned. Of course adult stem cells have so far worked well, and scientists haven’t made much use of the more controversial embryonic stem cells. I know I feel I could benefit from stem cell research and have a much better quality of life as a Parkinson's patient were it not for restrictions on research money held back. Just my personal opinion....... I am not preaching. I do not mean to offend.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Evemarie View Post
                I've read about this before. I got really excited until I learned that IC is an auto-immune issue (or at least that is what my doc said)... It isn't the bladder that was bad, it is the fact that your immune system attacks your bladder...
                Unfortunately even though your doc is saying that, I don't think its been proven yet. My UG says they really don't know. Don't get me wrong, if it were autoimmune, maybe they could come up with a medicine to stop the attack on the poor organ. It does seem to occur with people who also have IBS, TMJ, fibromyalgia etc. there is probably more of a connection there. I just wish some great researcher would come up with a "why" it happens so that then there can be a solution.
                Cindi


                Gelnique for frequency/urgency - works great
                Macrobid after sex
                Prilosec, continuous birth control pills
                synthroid .088mg, mucinex-d, restasis

                Supplements: Desert Harvest Aloe vera, Cysta-q, prelief, magnesium and calcium, Vit D, flaxseed oil

                Diag Mild IC Jan 11 but have had symptoms for 25 years. Also have GERD, TMJ, IBS-C, chronic dry eye syndrome, hashimotos thyroiditis, non-allergic rhinitis.

                IC Diet Link: http://www.ic-network.com/diet/2009icdietlist.pdf
                AUA 2011 Guidelines to diagnosing and treating IC overview- http://www.ic-network.com/forum/showthread.php?p=571592
                AUA 2011 Guidelines to diagnosing and treating IC PDF: http://www.auanet.org/content/guidel...ent_ic-bps.pdf
                Great treatment flowchart on page 19 of the pdf

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is an article in the March National Geographic on growing new bladders. Fascinating stuff.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This sounds interesting - growing a new bladder!

                    I wanted to talk about the autoimmune issue. I have ITP, which is an autoimmune blood disorder. I had my spleen removed in 1978 and have been in "remission" ever since. I found out last year that I have MS, yet another disorder categorized as autoimmune. Now I find out I have IC, classified by most as an autoimmune disorder. The MS has symptoms that come and go for no reason and each patient is unique in their symptoms and severity and placement of symptoms. This makes it difficult to treat. I see IC as being the same way - each patient is unique. With MS -- there is nothing that you could grow new to treat the symptoms. Alot of MS treatment is symptom management, just like with IC.

                    There are famous people, such as Montel Williams and Neil Cavuto with MS, but that doesn't mean that there have been any great strides with MS awareness, or research on why it happens, treatments, etc. just because there are celebrities with the disorder.
                    Colleen

                    * ITP - autoimmune blood disorder - spleen removed 1978 and in remission since
                    * MS- diagnosed Jan-2010
                    * IC - confirmed by cysto and hydro Nov-2010 - currently taking no medication
                    * possible adenomyosis - suspected by urogyno May-2010
                    * low Vitamin D levels - taking 2000 IU daily
                    * sleep issues - 1/2 alprazolam

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ms

                      Originally posted by cosake View Post
                      This sounds interesting - growing a new bladder!

                      I wanted to talk about the autoimmune issue. I have ITP, which is an autoimmune blood disorder. I had my spleen removed in 1978 and have been in "remission" ever since. I found out last year that I have MS, yet another disorder categorized as autoimmune. Now I find out I have IC, classified by most as an autoimmune disorder. The MS has symptoms that come and go for no reason and each patient is unique in their symptoms and severity and placement of symptoms. This makes it difficult to treat. I see IC as being the same way - each patient is unique. With MS -- there is nothing that you could grow new to treat the symptoms. Alot of MS treatment is symptom management, just like with IC.

                      There are famous people, such as Montel Williams and Neil Cavuto with MS, but that doesn't mean that there have been any great strides with MS awareness, or research on why it happens, treatments, etc. just because there are celebrities with the disorder.
                      My brother in law Had MS back in '69, he lived with it for just 20 yrs.
                      then died from complications. his symptoms did not come and go.
                      again like IC patients. he went from a limp to a cane to a walker to a wheelchair. some MC patients have little or no problems and some are episodic. they have a couple of weeks they aren't doing to well, then everything comes back. They have made some strides since he had it.
                      it's the myelin sheathing around the spine it wears down, and exposes nerves so the messages to the brain don't register. it's like the covering around electrical cords. the best theory so far is it's somehow is associated with Chicken pox, why some people can't shed it out of the body in the normal way most people do. sorry to ramble thought I'd give some info. on it. they 're not sure about it being auto immune. I guess a bit of an argument it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm sorry that you lost your brother to MS.

                        Thank you for the reminder - I guess because the most common form of MS is the relapsing-remitting type (RRMS), I tend to forget about the more serious progressive forms - I'm sorry. There is currently only a small percentage of MS patients who die from complications of the disorder; compared to those who live a relatively full life.

                        I am fortunate that I have not had any major MS symptoms in over a year now. I have had quite a few minor issues that are annoyances. Many of the treatments available are for the RRMS. I had not heard of any link with chicken pox, but I have learned that many suspect a link with mono (or EBV).

                        I know that strides are being made in treatment and discovery, particularly with oral medications. I was trying to say that I didn't think those strides were made just because a celebrity had MS.
                        Colleen

                        * ITP - autoimmune blood disorder - spleen removed 1978 and in remission since
                        * MS- diagnosed Jan-2010
                        * IC - confirmed by cysto and hydro Nov-2010 - currently taking no medication
                        * possible adenomyosis - suspected by urogyno May-2010
                        * low Vitamin D levels - taking 2000 IU daily
                        * sleep issues - 1/2 alprazolam

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cosake View Post
                          I'm sorry that you lost your brother to MS.

                          Thank you for the reminder - I guess because the most common form of MS is the relapsing-remitting type (RRMS), I tend to forget about the more serious progressive forms - I'm sorry. There is currently only a small percentage of MS patients who die from complications of the disorder; compared to those who live a relatively full life.

                          I am fortunate that I have not had any major MS symptoms in over a year now. I have had quite a few minor issues that are annoyances. Many of the treatments available are for the RRMS. I had not heard of any link with chicken pox, but I have learned that many suspect a link with mono (or EBV).

                          I know that strides are being made in treatment and discovery, particularly with oral medications. I was trying to say that I didn't think those strides were made just because a celebrity had MS.
                          NO need to apologize, I understand what you were saying, I didn't mean to come across that way. I just wanted to mention my brother in law's case because of what was thought back then . Guess I didn't say it too well.
                          He had from I think being in a wheelchair a congestive heart situation. suddenly he just went downhill and then one morning my sister went to get him some water when she came back he had died. he was just 60 he said I didn't think I'd make it to this age, and it was just a couple of months before he died. .
                          but now so many more new things have come out, since then, although some were being done then, he was too late for them too far into the condition.
                          And I agree the strides weren't being made for celebrities, they help by putting awareness to it. Sorry if came across in the wrong way.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You don't need to apologize either ! I think sometimes when I post that I am getting my tone right, but you can't really get "tone" right with an email or board post ! And when I'm just typing away it's easy to get carried away with a thought and have it not come out how I expect it to.

                            It's awfully sad what happened to your brother and you didn't come across the wrong way - please don't think that.
                            Colleen

                            * ITP - autoimmune blood disorder - spleen removed 1978 and in remission since
                            * MS- diagnosed Jan-2010
                            * IC - confirmed by cysto and hydro Nov-2010 - currently taking no medication
                            * possible adenomyosis - suspected by urogyno May-2010
                            * low Vitamin D levels - taking 2000 IU daily
                            * sleep issues - 1/2 alprazolam

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bluegoo06 View Post
                              Saw this article on the internet. This fellow had a flatten bladder, and the scientists and doctors were able to grow him a new one from his own cells. He is now functioning normally and has a good life. Maybe one day this can be used to help ICers.

                              Source < http://www.courant.com/health/connec...411,full.story >

                              UConn Student Owes His Normal Life To A 'Regenerated' Bladder
                              Thank you for bringing us this fascinating article Bluegoo!
                              I have often wondered if it would be possible to grow a new bladder. I understand what some people are saying about the cells of an IC patient not being ideal for use. So my question is, could they use the cells from a 'healthy' person and make a bladder which could then be transplanted into an IC patient?
                              If the boy's bladder was 'faltering', does that mean that his bladder was not healthy? I'm not sure from reading the article what exactly was wrong with his bladder? (Can any of you guys explain? Sorry if I'm being dumb!)

                              Jem xx

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