The TETRA project involves thirteen European organisations that have all received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The projects members are focused on clinical research and the development of regenerative organs to help people recover from tracheal diseases have caused respiratory problems and reduced the quality of life of those suffering.
Diseases of the trachea (windpipe) cause the airways to narrow, which causing breathing difficulties. If left untreated the patient will continue to suffer and if the situation worsens, this can ultimately lead to death. The present treatment process for trachea diseases involves repeated surgical interventions, such as stent insertions that force the trachea to remain open. The issue is that these treatments come with limitations and have a low success rate.
Trachea organ replacement is another solution, but the new organ is often rejected by the body. The TETRA project involves using the patient’s own stem cells to create a tissue engineered trachea, which can be used to replace the diseased trachea.
Principal Investigator Professor Martin Birchall summarises the importance of the TETRA projects work, “We are delighted to be working on a project which will ultimately make the tissue engineered replacement trachea available on widespread basis to patients with SSAD. Designed to be a one-off curative treatment without the need for a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs, it will bring real clinical benefit. Patients will be an important part of the wider TETRA project team, and we are grateful for the support of the National Association of Largyngectomee Clubs.”
The TETRA projects highly valued members include: