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First womb-transplant baby won't be alone for long

Published:Wednesday | October 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Vincent, the first baby born to a woman who had a womb transplant, is cradled by his mother at an undisclosed location in Sweden, on Monday.

GOTHENBURG, (AP): The world's first baby born from a transplanted womb is soon to have company.

Two more women who became pregnant after having womb transplants are due to deliver in the next few weeks, and that could be the start of a new wave of babies born this way, said the Swedish doctors who pioneered the technique.

"It means a lot to me that we are able to help patients who have tried for so long to have families," said Dr Mats Brannstrom, a professor of gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Gothenburg, who led the project that brought about last month's pioneering birth. "This is the last piece of the puzzle in finding a treatment for all women with infertility problems."

Brannstrom predicted there would soon be many more babies born to women who have received donated wombs in countries where doctors are studying the technique, including Australia, Britain, the US, Japan and China.

Brannstrom said he has also started work on trying to grow a womb in the laboratory. That involves taking a womb from a deceased donor, stripping it of its DNA, then using cells from the recipient to line the structure. He has started preliminary tests in animals and estimated it would be another five years before the technique can be tried on humans.