Thursday, November 25, 2004

Studies: Cord Blood Works Vs. Leukemia

Yahoo! News - Studies: Cord Blood Works Vs. Leukemia.

"Umbilical-cord blood, now used mostly to treat children with leukemia, could save thousands of adults with the disease each year who cannot find bone marrow donors, two big studies indicate.

A European study found that those who got cord blood were just as likely to be free of leukemia two years later as those who got marrow. A U.S. study looking at three-year survival yielded results almost as promising.

To Dr. Mary Horowitz of the Medical College of Wisconsin, senior author of the U.S. study, the message is clear: Umbilical cord blood can save adults.

Leukemia patients often undergo radiation or chemotherapy to kill their cancerous white blood cells — a treatment that wipes out their immune systems, too. To restore their immune systems, doctors give these patients an infusion of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood, both of which contain stem cells capable of developing into every kind of blood cell.

Cord blood offers an important advantage over marrow that makes it particularly valuable for use in transplants: Its stem cells are less likely to attack the recipient's body. That allows a wider margin of error in matching up donors and recipients. [more]"

-- My dad died almost 5 years ago at a way too early age, from leukemia resulting from benzene poisoning. Umbilical cord cells weren't an option then. Maybe they can save somebody else's dad.

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