Building new organs from a patient's own cells is a goal that is gaining more attention from the wider public and the mainstream press: "What if dying patients waiting for an organ transplant could receive a custom, lab-grown replacement rather than waiting for a donor organ? To some, this may sound like science fiction - and in many ways, it still is. But the advances in the field of regenerative medicine that made headlines last week suggest such lab-grown organs may become reality in the future. ... The idea of using a patient's own cells rather than relying on those of a donor is important because it eliminates the need to find a 'match.' For any transplant procedure there is a concern that tissues from a donor will be rejected by a recipient's body. Even though doctors carefully analyze specimens under a microscope to find the most compatible individuals, and even despite the powerful drugs used to prevent the recipient's immune system from attacking the new body part, the risk of rejection still causes doctors to hold their breath in the days following a transplant. Custom-made organs from a patient's own tissues would solve this problem, obviating the need for strong immune-suppressing medications that come with significant side effects. The other potential benefit lies in availability. Growing a replacement tissue or organ in the lab eliminates the dependence on waiting for a donor to die. These parts cannot be grown overnight, but with people currently waiting months to years for donor organs, there might be a point at which the amount of time taken to grow a replacement is shorter than the wait for a donated one. It's a bright future. But many hurdles remain before widespread use becomes a reality."