Below are just some stories of both children and adults successfully being treated with stem cells originating from cord blood. The success stories of diseases successfully being treated with cord blood stem cells is continuously increasing especially with rapid advances in medical research.
A 4-year old boy was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia where the likelihood of death is considered “very high”. The pediatric oncologist treating the 4-year-old boy learnt that his mother was pregnant and suggested the parents’ collect the sibling’s cord blood.
The parents agreed and upon testing the newborn’s cord blood they discovered the stem cells were a perfect match. The physician performed the transplant after the newborn’s collected cord blood stem cells were processed for transplantation. As expected, the sick child started healing shortly after receiving the stem cells and two years after his transplant the young boy was considered cured and today his cancer is in complete remission.
A six-week year old infant boy was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Luckily for the physician he learnt the parents had decided to bank their daughters cord blood two years earlier even though there was no family history or specific reason for them to save her stem cells. The sister’s were identified as a perfect match and doctors were able to perform successful stem cell transplantation before his first birthday. Six years later the boy remained cured and living a normal healthy life.
Treating acute myelogenous leukemia with cord blood stem cells is not only limited to children. A 52-year old mother of two sons was diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and successfully treated with two sets of chemotherapy. In early 2004 after her leukemia was in remission she was twice transplanted with bone marrow stem cells which both failed within weeks after the transplant. A month after the second failed bone marrow transplant she was successfully transplanted with matching cord blood stem cells. She currently lives a healthy life and like other adults receiving similar transplants her blood and immune system being characteristic of a young child while reporting beneficially faster injury healing compared to individuals her similar age.
A 1-year-old Danish boy was diagnosed with Hurler’s syndrome, a life-threatening disease known to lead to progressive deterioration of the central nervous system, physical mobility, and death in children. The child’s team physicians successfully transplanted the sick boy with donor cord blood stem cells stored in the United States.
A six-month old boy was admitted to the emergency room with perforated lungs from complications associated with respiratory syncytial virus and pneumonia. The child was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome, which is a condition that prevents the body from producing enough immune T-cells to fight off disease. His doctor decided to transplant the baby with cord blood cells, as there was fear bone-marrow stem cells would attack the virus too aggressively and worsen his condition. The baby left the hospital three months after the transplant and is leading a healthy life today.
Doctors in St. Louis, Missouri diagnosed a young girl with osteocsarcoma or bone cancer in her leg weeks before her 9th birthday. As part of her treatment, the young girl received fourteen months of effective chemotherapy that eradicated over 96% of the cancer cells. However, not only did the chemotherapy kill the deadly cancer cells it also destroyed the normal production of new blood cells by her body. As a result of the treatment she developed a syndrome called myelodysplasia or “pre-leukemia”.
After four years of continuous therapy the sick girl became a candidate for a needed transplantation with cord blood stem cell. With an 80% chance of being cured from myelodysplastic syndrome using stem cells from cord blood, the 14-year old was transplanted with stem cells that successfully treated her debilitating condition. The transplant effectively reversed the combined life-threatening effects of the cancer and leukemia, and 100 days after the transplant she was back leading a normal life.