A Chinese doctor and an Italian neurosurgeon claimed a giant medical breakthrough in the treatment of spinal-cord injuries in their recent articles published in Surgical Neurology International positing that irreversible spinal cord injuries can be healed.
Ren Xiaoping, a renowned Chinese surgeon and professor at Harbin Medical University, and Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero published their latest study results in a US-based scientific journal on March 27, claiming to have achieved a medical breakthrough in the treatment of spinal-cord injuries. The two surgeons said that "irreversible" spinal-cord injuries can be cured. They have finished trials on dogs and monkeys, which have proven to be successful, and will conduct human trials soon.
Ren Xiaoping conducts a lab trial on a dog. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
"I have focused on the research of spinal cord fusion technology in the past six years," Ren told China Daily. It is generally believed by most neuroscientists that spinal cord injuries are irreversible. However, this long-held view has been found not to be true based on observations and the experimental work of Ren and Canavero.
They have tested on small animals, including mice, dogs, and monkeys, which have all proven to be successful.
Next they will begin trials on human bodies. According to Ren, China has a large amount of paraplegic patients and their findings will be good news for them if the clinical tests are successful.
"We are looking forward to the support and encouragement from Chinese government as the grand achievement will help China catch up with the foreign countries," Ren said.
"Two partners from the US are willing to cooperate with us on clinical test, but we wish to do it in China," he added.
Ren Xiaoping, fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and American Society of Neuroradiology, is most well known for being part of the team that achieved the US's first hand transplant. He is also the designer of the world’s first hand transplant clinical model, mouse-head transplant model, and human-head transplant surgical model. Additionally, he has taken lead globally in the treatment of spinal cord injuries based on spinal cord fusion technology.
Ren Xiaoping conducts a lab trial on a monkey. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A photo of Ren, who is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and American Society of Neuroradiology. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]