Stem cell and tissue engineering in breast reconstruction

Tanasit Techanukul, Visnu Lohsiriwat


Breast cancer worldwide is the most common cancer in women with incidence rate varying from geographic areas. Guidelines for management of breast cancer have been largely established and widely used. Mastectomy is one of the surgical procedures used treating breast cancer. Optionally, after mastectomy, appropriately selected patients could undergo breast reconstruction to create their breast contour. Many techniques have been used for breast reconstructive surgery, mainly implant-based and autologous tissue reconstruction. Even with highly-experienced surgeon and good-quality breast and autologous substitute tissue, still there could be unfilled defect after mastectomy with reconstruction. Stem cell, in particular, adipose-derived stem cell residing within fat tissue could be used to fill the imperfection providing optimal breast shape and natural feeling of fat tissue. However, whether surgical reconstruction alone or in combination with stem cell and tissue engineering approach be used, the ultimate outcomes are patient safety first and satisfaction second.