Advances Using Cord Blood in Stem Cell Transplants

Experts have long known that blood stem cells extracted from umbilical cords can be used to treat those lymphomas and leukemias via transplant. Unfortunately, there's always been one roadblock: the average umbilicus contains only enough stem cells to help the smallest patients, mainly children.

That's why the early results of a new study are so encouraging. Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston say they have successfully treated adult blood cancer patients using stem cells extracted from two separate cords.

"The remarkable thing about it is that there are no apparent adverse consequences of using two cords, and the new blood cells seem to come in faster, with more rapid engraftment," explained Dr. Robert Soiffer, chief of hematologic malignancies at Dana-Farber. More Info

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