First-Ever Successful Stem Cell Transplant from Shin to Jaw Performed in Croatia

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Croatia's first-ever stem cell transplant from shin to jaw performed

(Photo: KBC Split)

A surgical team in the city of Split have performed the first autologous stem cell transplantation from the shin to the jaw in Croatia in a patient who developed extensive osteoradionecrosis following oncological radiotherapy.

This procedure is unique in Croatia and has placed KBC Split hospital, where it was performed, on par with the most advanced Clinical Centres worldwide, the hospital said.

“Considering the increasing number of patients suffering from medication-induced jaw necrosis and those who have developed jaw necrosis as a result of oncological radiotherapy, we have started using state-of-the-art surgical protocols in their treatment. This regenerative procedure involving autologous stem cells represents the pinnacle of regenerative surgery and a multidisciplinary approach,” said Dr. Saša Ercegović, the head of the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery at KBC Split.

This is the most modern method in which, during the standard surgical procedure to repair the dying jaw bone, a concentrate of bone marrow is aspirated from the patient’s own shin or iliac crest of the hip, and after processing, it is applied to the necrotic jawbone.

The goal of the therapy is to regenerate the necrotic bone and prevent further deterioration, thus avoiding more extensive surgical procedures that significantly impact the patient’s quality of life postoperatively.

Dr. Ercegović emphasizes that several such surgical procedures have been performed so far under the leadership of Associate Professor Daniel Jerković, and all patients have shown an excellent clinical response. “With these procedures, our patients receive state-of-the-art surgical care, and it encourages us, as staff at the Department, to further advance and places us high on the scale of excellence.”

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