Six years ago a Portuguese couple decided, at the birth of their daughter, to store her cord blood at Cryo-Save (Euronext: CRYO, “Cryo-Save”). This week the sick girl was treated in the U.S. with her own stem cells. A medical marvel, but no longer unique, as autologous (the patient’s own) stem cells are regularly being used in clinical trials to tackle a growing number of disorders.
Europe’s main stem cell family bank, Cryo-Save, currently cares for 175,000 samples of cord blood, umbilical cord tissue and adipose tissue. All these tissues are rich in stem cells, which offer enormous potential for treating so far incurable disorders.
The couple’s decision to preserve stem cells for their daughter may today completely change her life. The girl suffers from an incurable illness: cerebral palsy, a brain disorder that causes many problems, including impaired movement, trembling of the limbs, spasticity, seizures or epilepsy, learning and developmental problems, and more. Children with cerebral palsy require special needs education. There is no treatment for the disorder, which occurs in young children and, in the U.S. alone, affects almost half a million people.
Pioneering treatment… with own stem cells!
The Portuguese girl is currently undergoing treatment at Duke University in the US with her own umbilical cord-derived stem cells. It is a simple and safe procedure with the stem cells given to the patient intravenously. The girl received her first transfusion earlier this week. This treatment with own or ‘autologous’ stem cells has already provided several children suffering from cerebral palsy with very significant improvements.
Medical doctors at Duke University are treating cerebral palsy children who have their own cord blood stored, in a clinical trial.
A growing variety of disorders treated with autologous stem cells
This development makes Arnoud van Tulder, CEO of Cryo-Save, very happy: “We are proud that we can once again make a difference by contributing to the betterment of this girl’s life. I am pleased to see that a growing range of diseases are now being treated with autologous stem cells. This is very promising. Cryo-Save samples meet all the high standards set by hospitals for therapeutic products. Ensuring the quality of collection, transport, processing and storage always was and remains our highest priority.”
Cryo-Save Group + 31 (0) 575 548 998
Arnoud van Tulder, Chief Executive Officer
Information on the trials for Cerebral Palsy at Duke U: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/healthteam/story/9587943/
Free footage is available on www.videobankonline.com
A study presented on 25th June 2007 at the American Diabetes Association’s 67th Scientific Sessions in Chicago has shown that stored Umbilical Cord Blood from children possibly has a very important role to play in reducing the impact of diabetes.
It has been showed that newly diagnosed Type 1(insulin dependant) Diabetic children developed less severe diabetes if treated with their own cord blood during the early phases of the disease. In the early stages of diabetes an inflammatory cell attack on the insulin producing Islet cells of the pancreas occurs. When cord blood from a specific patient is given back to the that patient in the early stages of Type 1 diabetes, the patient will eventually require less insulin than control patients who do not receive this therapy. The cord blood cells either lessen the attack on the pancreas or possibly introduce stem cells that can differentiate into insulin-producing cells according to the University of Florida’s Dr Michael Haller.
Professor Colin McGuckin of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School believes that the specialized cells within the cord blood (which stop rejection of the child by the mother during pregnancy) are likely to be the ones which are responsible for quietening down the immune system attack on the pancreas. This, together with cord blood stem cells manipulated to secrete insulin, may be able to markedly improve the outlook for diabetes patients.
These findings may also be of relevance to patients who are in the early stages of other auto-immune diseases.
Research News Database To access research papers on stem cell therapy for a wide variety of diseases please visit our parent company’s website at www.cryo-save.com/publication_database.html