For the first time, scientists have succeeded in coaxing laboratory cultures of human stem cells to develop into the specialized, unique cells needed to repair a patient's defective or diseased bladder.

The breakthrough was developed at the University of California's (UC) Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and published in the scientific journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

It is significant because it provides a pathway to regenerate replacement bladder tissue for patients whose bladders are too small or do not functions properly, such as children with spina bifida and adults with spinal cord injuries or bladder cancer, reported Science Daily.

"Our goal is to use human stem cells to regenerate tissue in the lab that can be transplanted into patients to augment or replace their malfunctioning bladders," said Eric Kurzrock, professor and head of the division of paediatric urologic surgery at UC Davis Children's Hospital and lead scientist of the study.

Another benefit of UC Davis study is the insight it may provide about the pathways of bladder cancer, which is diagnosed in more than 70,000 Americans each year, according to National Cancer Institute.


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