China – Stem cell surgery for cancer patient in Shanghai

(Stem Cells News image)

Leukemia Does Not Have Me!
Image by jason | caine via Flickr

A 21-year-old leukemia patient underwent pioneering surgery in a Shanghai hospital Wednesday, when doctors transfused 30 milliliters of umbilical-cord blood donated by a Shanghai cord bank. Today they will transplant a batch of his father’s stem cells, which are an imperfect match.

This combination of umbilical-cord blood and half-matched stem cells can offer lifesaving transplant opportunities to many more patients than traditional methods, which require a perfect match between patient and donor, said doctors from Shanghai No. 1 People’s Hospital.

It will be a month before results of the transplant are determined.

About 40,000 to 50,000 people on China’s mainland are diagnosed with leukemia every year – alf of them children. Only about 1,000 are able to receive a stem-cell transplant because of the difficulty of finding a matching donor.

The chances of finding a perfectly matched donor are as little as one in 100,000, when direct blood-relatives are not available. The possibility of an exact match is one in four between immediate relatives.

The chances of finding a donor of umbilical-cord blood is 50 to 100 times higher because this sort of transfusion is less prone to rejection. However, one unit of umbilical-cord blood is usually not enough to treat an adult patient.

Stem cells, from which all other cells in the body grow, are found in umbilical-cord blood, bone marrow and peripheral blood. With this new procedure, umbilical-cord blood is used to reduce the chance of the body rejecting half-matched stem cells.
“Without a perfectly matched donor, the recipient will develop severer rejection and could die,” said Chen Liyun, a Shanghai Cord Bank official. “In cord blood, there’s a special type of cell that can curb rejection. The method uses this kind of cell to control rejection.”

Medical experts said hospitals in Beijing were the first in the nation to begin the practice four or five years ago.
The new transplant method offers options to patients who previously had none.

Dr Chen Jing from Shanghai Children’s Medical Center said the technology is still new in clinical practice and there hasn’t been a lot of data collected to confirm its effects.
“However, it is a solution for some patients who can’t find a perfectly matched donor,” Chen Jing said.

from xinhuanet

3 thoughts on “China – Stem cell surgery for cancer patient in Shanghai”

  1. I would like to share my disappointment with the results of the stem cell treatment that I received from Tiantan Puhua Hospital from 21 July to 23 August 2008.

    Due to the effects of a head injury resulting from an accident in Malaysia in September 2006, I was having problems with my muscle movements and I was unable to walk normally unaided. Despite the various treatments that I received in Malaysia, I was unable to solve my problems.

    After receiving good references about the hospital, I enquired about the various treatments available and was recommended to undergo the stem cell treatment. I was informed that the hospital uses the newest neurological approaches to provide effective and safe stem cell treatments to a wide range of neurological disorders. The treatments consisted of stem cell transplantation, intensive physiotherapy and medicine which have proven to be efficient in bringing high levels of recovery to its patients.

    The doctors at the hospital namely, Dr Wang Xiaojuan and Dr Wu Li Ke assured me that the treatment would be effective and I would be able to recover my movements within 6 months from the completion of the treatment.

    Based on the representations made by the doctors, I paid the amount of EUR 28,000 prior to the treatment and flew from all the way from Malaysia and stayed in China for the aforesaid period to undergo the treatment.

    I was only given four stem cell transplantations during my stay in China although I requested for more. I was willing to pay extra for the additional transplantations but the doctors informed me that it was not necessary. According to them, the four stem cell transplantations would be sufficient to ensure that my problems would be resolved.

    It has been approximately 8 months since the completion of the treatment and despite following the advice of the doctors and undergoing physiotherapy every day, my condition has not improved.

    Despite having incurred substantial costs including medical fees amounting to EUR 26,028 (excluding refund of EUR 1,972), flight expenses and accommodation costs of my stay in Grand Hyatt Beijing and spending more than 1 month at the hospital, the treatment that I have received has not been effective at all. I also had to endure the hassle of commuting from the hotel to the hospital everyday which would involve me leaving the hospital as late as 7.00 pm daily.

    I am very frustrated that the representations made to me by the doctors have not been fulfilled. Based on the results of the my treatment, the hospital has not lived up to its reputation of having renowned doctors, advanced medical facilities and cutting edge research.

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