In a ray of hope for millions of leukaemia patients, American scientists have claimed to have developed a technique which multiplies the small number of stem cells in the donor blood, making it much more potent for the treatment of the fatal disease.
It also eliminates the need for a matching donor, whose bone marrow is usually transplanted to the patient, according to a study which appeared in the journal Nature Medicine. Traditionally, there was always a risk that the patient’s body may reject the new cells from a donor.
An ‘antenna’ molecule, which is capable of guiding blood stem cells to their natural ‘home’, the bone marrow, has been discovered. The discovery could improve the efficiency of umbilical cord stem cell transplants. This type of transplant is not efficient when there are not many umbilical cord stem cells present, since few of them are able to reach the bone marrow from the blood.
Reported by Nature magazine, the discovery was made by David Scadden of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston. The stem cells, which normally renew the population of blood cells in the body
Doctors hope a Nottinghamshire boy with leukaemia can undergo a stem cell transplant in May.
Roman Cusick, from Calverton, is currently recovering from chemotherapy.
If he is deemed to be well enough, he will receive cells from an umbilical cord from a German donor in a procedure at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
In February almost 200 people in Calverton helped took part in a saliva test to see if they were a suitable match.
Leukaemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow, leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells.
The British mega-brand Virgin has launched a stem-cell bank in Qatar. The country has lofty goals of becoming the world leader in stem cell technologies, and unlike in the West, Qatar does not face some of the ethical issues surrounding stem-cell research.
It was a lavish launch for the opening of Qatar’s new research center that brought out billionaire Richard Branson and Qatar’s royal family to the country’s new Science and Technology Park.
Branson came to Qatar to open the Virgin Health Bank, the first in the region that collects stem cells from the umbilical cord blood of newborns.
“Qatar is a
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