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World’s first pelvis transplant carried out in Italy.

The Centre for Orthopaedic Trauma (CTO) in Turin, Italy, has performed the world’s first pelvis transplant, an operation that saved the life of an 18-year-old suffering from osteosarcoma. The condition was considered inoperable and the boy responded quite well to 16 cycles of chemotherapy, but the doctors didn’t stop at the traditional treatment, racking their brains to find a definitive solution.

Osteosarcoma is a cancerous tumor in a bone. Specifically, it is an aggressive malignant neoplasm that arises from primitive transformed cells of mesenchymal origin (and thus a sarcoma) and that exhibits osteoblastic differentiation and produces malignantosteoid. Osteosarcoma is the most common histological form of primary bone cancer and it is most prevalent in children and young adults. It tend to occur at the sites of bone growth, presumably because proliferation makes osteoblastic cells in this region prone to acquire mutations that could lead to transformation of cells (RB gene and p53 gene are commonly involved).

In an 11.5-hour operation, surgeons removed half the patient’s pelvis along with part of his hip affected by the cancer, replacing them with a prosthetic made in the United States from titanium covered in tantalum, a non-corrosive metal mainly used in electronics components.

The operation had “an excellent outcome” and the patient is now undergoing intensive therapy to help him adapt to his new pelvis, the hospital said in a statement.

(Picture by Alexey Kashpersky).