There is no good surgical, medical or prosthetic solution to the problems faced by those with a larynx whose function is irreversibly damaged by tumor or trauma. Over the past 10 years, the pace of research designed to establish laryngeal transplantation as a therapeutic option for these persons has increased steadily. The biggest milestone in this field was the world's first true laryngeal transplant performed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1998. The recipient's graft continues to function well, in many respects, even after 7 years. However, it has also highlighted the remaining barriers to full-scale clinical trials. Stimulated by these observations, several groups have accumulated data which point to answers to some of the outstanding questions surrounding functional reinnervation and immunomodulation. This review seeks to outline the progress achieved in this field by 2005 and to point the way forward for laryngeal transplantation research in the 21st century.
ASJC Scopus subject areas