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Researchers develop stem-cell breast-growth technique

Article-Researchers develop stem-cell breast-growth technique

Melbourne, Australia — Scientists here are researching a stem-cell breast-growing technique that could help cancer victims regrow their breasts, Melbourne’s Herald Sun reports.

The technique, called Neopec, could also change the cosmetic surgery industry by allowing women to grow bigger natural breasts.

Scientists from Melbourne’s Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery developed the technique, in which surgeons implant a synthetic breast-shaped chamber beneath the skin of a woman’s chest to act as a scaffold to support the new breast.

A blood vessel from the woman’s underarm is redirected through the chamber to a 5 ml piece of the patient’s own fat, which spontaneously grows to fill a fist-sized space and form the new breast. This takes place over a period of four to six months.

The fat tissue stops growing when it reaches the chamber to ensure desired shape and size. The chamber degrades after the breast is formed.

The Neopec technique has already been proven in pigs, which grew new breasts in just six weeks, the Herald Sun reports.

Bernard O’Brien Institute officials say that if it proves successful, the Neopec technology could be available to breast cancer patients after a three-year trial, but that the technology probably would not be used for cosmetic purposes for about a decade.

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