July 9, 2008
In the final part of the 3-part series on cord blood, reporter Gretchen Cuda of Cleveland station WCPN talks with a patient who was treated for leukemia with cord blood stem cells. As Cuda points out, “In less than two decades, cord blood transplants from unrelated donors have nearly tripled the number of adults who survive Leukemia.”
Also interviewed was Dr. Mary Laughlin, renowned cord blood researcher, who noted:
“These cells not only cure the leukemia or life-threatening blood disorder, we now appreciate that that they participate in repair of all the organs in the body.”
She goes on to say that in fact, in some children, cord blood stem cells have been found to comprise as much as a third of the heart -proof that these stem cells are capable of much more than previously thought possible. As a result, a number of promising clinical trials are being conducted to explore the regenerative potential of cord blood in treating cerebral palsy, diabetes and brain injury.
One great need is banking more cord blood, especially from minority populations, so that everyone can have access to a life-saving cord blood stem cell transplant. The story also has links to the Cleveland Cord Blood Center and New York Blood Center, where more information on cord blood banking and transplants can be found.