Autologous fat grafting is the least invasive method for breast reconstruction, but also has major drawbacks, including high tissue resorption rates of up to 80%. Researchers in Denmark, led by Prof. Krzysztof Drzewiecki, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Dr. Anne Fischer-Nielsen, Department of Clinical Immunology, Rigshospitalet, had a hypothesis: what if you could enrich the human fat graft with autologous adipose stem cells (ASCs) to increase graft survival? But they faced a major obstacle: how do you culture a sufficient volume of stem cells to increase grafting success? Dr. Peter Glovinski, leader of the present clinical study, turned to Corning, who designed a scale-up solution that’s enabling them to grow the billions of stem cells required to move forward with this clinical study.
Too Many in Need, No Ideal Solution
Dr. Glovinski and his colleagues are passionate about their work for one simple reason: “One in ten women worldwide will face breast cancer sometime in their life and many will have the need for reconstructive surgery which is part of the cancer treatment, including many of the 4,800 women, who each year in Denmark alone are struck by breast cancer. Yet current surgical procedures, such as free flaps and implants, have major drawbacks,” he says.