Published on 06. March 2017

Esophageal cancer - Successful transplantation

At Vivantes Friedrichshain Hospital, an interdisciplinary surgical team led by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hochberger, Chief Physician of the Clinic for Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal and the Interventional Endoscopy Center, and Prof. Dr. Martin Loss, Chief Physician for Visceral Surgery, have succeeded in performing a spectacular transplantation.

For the first time, a patient's own mucosa of the small intestinal was successfully transplanted into the esophagus. In 2015, a patient had experienced excessive scarring after complex removal of a mucosal carcinoma of the upper esophagus. Although all previously available treatment procedures had been produced, the patient suffered severe impairment in food intake. Following preliminary experimental work in cooperation with the Hannover Medical School, the Südklinikum Rostock and the Friedrich-Löffler- Forschungsinstitut Mariensee, the physicians decided on an innovative approach in December 2016: they transplanted the mucosa of the small intestine, which now serves as protection for the former wound area. For patients with early carcinomas of the esophagus and with scarring changes, the procedure opens up new treatment options.
The patient is also relieved: "The most important thing is to be able to eat normally again with family, friends and colleagues, otherwise you are quite isolated socially."

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