May 18, 2010
Australian doctors have diagnosed a newly-described disease in a young woman, and have successfully treated her disease with adult stem cells. Katie Pulling had been in and out of the hospital for years, since she was eleven years old. Her symptoms baffled physicians. Doctors at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital finally were able to determine that the condition was due to a problem in her immune system. And the solution was to replace and reboot her immune system using donated adult stem cells. According to Dr. Maher Gandhi:
"The signals in Katie's immune system were not functioning normally. This meant her immune cells could not communicate with each other properly.
"We contacted Dr Glen Kennedy, an expert in bone marrow stem cell transplantation at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, to see if this might offer a cure.
"The transplant was dangerous, but the results were amazing. The defect in Katie's immune cells has been fixed. To our knowledge this is the first time this disorder has been reported."
"Now I don't get sick. I am really not used to it and keep waiting to get sick. I am now back to full time study and loving it."
Katie, now 23, is completing her studies for a Bachelor of Business degree.
The results are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.