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Sister's umbilical cord blood cures boy

(Shanghai Daily)

11:20, September 24, 2011

Shanghai--Transfusions for an eight-year-old boy who was given umbilical cord blood from his 22-month-old sister to treat his leukemia a month ago were a success, said officials from Shanghai Cord Blood Center yesterday.

He was discharged on Thursday from a treatment unit specialized for stem cell transplant at Shanghai Daopei Hospital, and the boy is expected to recover from the fatal disease soon after staying in an ordinary ward for further treatment.

Umbilical cord blood, collected during the delivery of a baby, and bone marrow are used in similar ways for blood and immunity disease treatment. The key ingredient in both is stem cells. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are less mature than those in adult bone marrow, less prone to rejection by the recipient and more active in developing into different types of cells.

The boy identified as Jia Jia, a Jiangsu Province native, developed acute leukemia at the age of five. The disease was well under control after chemotherapy. Still concerned about Jia Jia's leukemia, his parents gave birth to a girl in 2009, and they kept and stored her umbilical cord blood at Shanghai Cord Blood Bank.

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