Recent news which was published in an early online publication of the Lancet Oncology reveals that the stem cells collected from umbilical cords through injection and then injecting into the pelvic bone of patients with leukemia increases the chance of therapeutic success as compared to other therapies.
Leukemia or leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow which is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells named leukocytes. There are several types of leukemia, some of which are much more aggressive than others and require more aggressive types of therapy.
Such types of patients have to take stem cell transplant. One such type of stem cell transplant is
* An allogeneic stem cell transplant - In this therapy the patient take high-dose therapy to kill cancer cells. But these doses unfortunately, destroy important hematopoietic stem cells (immature blood cells). These hematopoietic stem cells mature into red blood cells- which transport oxygen and nutrients to tissues in the body, white blood cells - which help the body fight infection, and platelets - which aid the blood in clotting.
These low levels of hematopoietic stem cells results in life-threatening conditions. So in an effort to prevent this condition, stem cells are obtained from the Umbilical cord blood immediately after the birth of a child. Then those cells frozen and stored in a central facility, peripheral circulating blood, or bone marrow spongy material inside large bones and are infused into the patient body.
A related research was done by the researchers of Italy including 32 patients with Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 12 with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) having age of 36 years. The promising result has proved that stem cells if extracted from umbilical cord can reduce the rate of GVHD - Graft-versus-host disease (It is a complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in which functional immune cells in the transplanted marrow recognize the recipient as “foreign” and mount an immunologic attack) thus increasing the chance of success.
However, the researchers say that they need more time and longer follow-up to determine the specific outcomes for this therapy.