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
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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
Researchers have discovered that umbilical cord stem cells, found in the blood of the umbilical cord, and able to differentiate into various types of tissue, represent a valid treatment alternative for leukemia patients that cannot find a compatible donor for a bone marrow transplant. American hematologists meeting in San Francisco for the 50th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Congress are now focusing their research on these types of stem cells to fight blood borne tumors.
An American study has recently called attention to the possible applications of umbilical cord stem cells for leukemia treatments. For years,
CordLife, Asia Pacific’s largest network of stem cell banks, on Wednesday launched the most advanced umbilical cord banking technology in the country. The technology has the ability to isolate two cell types that help in hastening the healing process of diabetic foot ulcers.
The patented technology allows access epithelial stem cells that can rejuvenate skin and mucus membranes for treating non-healing wounds as is seen in diabetic ulcer patients, said Steven Fang, group CEO, CordLife. With over 4 crore people in the country diagnosed with diabetes and 1 in every 6 estimated to have an ulcer during the lifetime, CordLife
Leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, affects the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. It is often treated with stem cell transplants that replace the patient’s bone marrow cells with stem cells donated by a healthy individual. Successful transplant depends on finding a donor who is a close genetic match to the patient. That’s a particular challenge for patients from racial and ethnic minority groups, who may die while waiting for a matching donor.
But a mostly-untapped source of genetically diverse stem cells is right under our noses: Blood left in the umbilical cord after a baby is