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Researchers in the U.S. say they may have found a new and better source for harvesting stem cells: the placentas that are often discarded after birth.
The research from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland found there are far more stem cells in placentas than in umbilical cord blood, the traditional source for stem cells, and they can be safely extracted for transplantation.
“Yes, the stem cells are there; yes, they are viable; and yes, we can get them out,” declared Dr. Frans Kuypers, one of the scientists who led the research with fellow scientist Vladimir Serikov.
The study was
Bond strengthened: Eight-year-old Thamirabharuni, holding her brother who donated the stem cells, did not suffer from rejection or graft versus host disease as the tissue match was perfect – Photo: V. Ganesan
Eight-year-old Thamirabharuni and her one-year-old brother Pugazhendhi share a special kind of bond not commonly seen among siblings. Thanks to her brother, Thamirabharuni no longer suffers from thalassemia disease.
The stem cells transplanted in March helped her get rid of thalassemia. And hundred days after the procedure, one can safely say that her disease has been cured.
The stem cells that were transplanted came from two different sources
The extensive research on stem cells has revolutionised the way life-threatening diseases like leukaemia and aplastic anaemia can be treated.
But there are several steps before these diseases can be treated using stem cells.
To begin with, the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-typing of the patient is done. Doctors then get into the process of finding a matched donor from the computerised list made available to them by National Marrow Donor Programme (NMDP), U.S., and New York Cord Blood Bank.
If registration of potential bone marrow donors has been in place for a long time, the emergence of a number of cord blood
When others of her age played with dolls, eight-year-old Thamirabharani was taking blood transfusions.
Born with thalassaemia, she has, however, found hope. She was detected with the disease when she was a year and a half and has been undergoing regular blood transfusions since.
Haematologist Revathy Raj and his team from Apollo Gleneagles hospital in Chennai gave a new lease of life to the little girl from Coimbatore through stem cell transplantation. Doctors said she is now fully cured and has not needed a single transfusion since March.
Doctors claimed this is the first success story in India using the stem cells
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A 300-euro bill has arrived for some couples that had stem cells taken from their child at birth three years ago. Sant’Anna has sent a bill to parents who decided to transport umbilical cord blood to Switzerland, which in Italy cannot be stored for personal use.
For the past year, the procedure is no longer free at Sant’Anna, but now the hospital is sending bills out to couples who had the procedure done in 2008 when the hospital was not yet making people pay and the operation was entirely free. Numerous couples in the past weeks have