The Importance Of Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplant by aihaozhe2

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									Cord blood stem cell transplants have successfully treated many diseases and
debilitating conditions. Stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood of a newborn
baby can develop into any type of organ or tissue such as liver, heart and neural cells.
They can also repair tissue and organs damaged in strokes and heart attacks.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells and adult leukemia

Umbilical cord blood stem cells are commonly used to treat childhood leukemia for
many years. However, only in recent years that adults with leukemia have been
successfully treated with transplantation of cord blood stem cells from unrelated
donors. One case is that of Stephen Sprague who was diagnosed with Chronic
Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in 1995. Chemotherapy only kept the cancer under
control for 17 months. In April 1997, he was in the final stage of the disease. He took
part in a clinical trial to determine if adequate amount of cord blood stem cells could
be harvested for a successful transplantation to an adult. In November 1997, he
underwent a cord blood stem cell transplant and has been cancer free for over 9 years.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells and spinal cord injuries

In Korea, a team of researchers claimed to have successfully transplanted umbilical
cord blood stem cells into the spine of a 37-year old woman. The patient had been
paralyzed for 19 years due to an accident. Doctors injected the stem cells directly into
the damaged portion of her spine. Within only three weeks, she began walking
assisted with a walker, and today she walks well without aid.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells and Krabbe disease

Great promise has been shown in the treatment of Krabbe Disease and other rare
lysomal storage diseases through the transplantation of cord blood stem cells. Krabbe
disease occurs in infants, and if left untreated is usually fatal within 2 years.
Researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill have made ground breaking progress in the treatment of this disease. Their
research shows that newborns who receive umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants
while they are still asymptomatic have a much higher chance of survival than children
who have already shown symptoms. The key is to catch the disease early enough to
prevent the loss of critical brain function.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells and Lymphoproliferative disease

Umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant has been proven to treat
Lymphoproliferative disease. This illness is a rare condition that affects the immune
system and makes the patient unable to fight off common germs. Brothers Blayke and
Garrett of Los Angeles, California were born with this life threatening disease. Thanks
to a cord blood transplant, both boys are now living normal, healthy lives.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells and Thalassaemia

Thalassaemia is a blood disease in which the body produces deformed red blood cells.
Frequent blood transfusions are necessary and previously the only cure was a bone
marrow transplant. On 3 July 2001, a cord blood stem cell transplant was carried out
on a 5-year old Malaysian Chinese boy with Thalassaemia Major. He is now able to
produce normal red blood cells and is cured of Thalassaemia Major. Besides bone
marrow transplant from a sibling, cord blood transplant is now a viable treatment for
Thalassaemia.

With the advancement of stem cell research, the future of cord blood transplant looks
promising as more of its potential uses are discovered. Many people suffering from
rare diseases and debilitating injuries have been able to lead better quality lives
following a cord blood stem cell transplant.

								
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