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Our 21st Stem Cell Sample has been released to treat a child with Cerebral Palsy

 In Stem Cell News

This summer, we released our 21st Stem Cell sample for clinical use, which was used at Duke University Hospital, in the United States to treat a young boy with Cerebral Palsy. We have been able to release samples to patients around the world since 2005, which have been used to treat several conditions like in this case Cerebral Palsy, as well as blood disorders such as Thalassemia, Leukaemia and rare neurological disorders such as HSV Encephalitis. 

The recipient of this donation was a 3-year-old boy, and the stem cell sample used was from his two-year-old brother. The family of the 3-year-old child approached us for advice about the chances of using cord blood from a younger sibling to treat the Cerebral Palsy (CP). Our suggestion was to contact a team at Duke University Hospital, in the United States, whom we had already worked with, regarding the treatment of CP.

We were able to supply the team at Duke University with the cord blood testing and processing data. They then checked this to see if it was suitable for cord blood transplant. When the sample was approved, and the brothers were confirmed as well-matched, we were able to arrange the of the cryopreserved cord blood to the USA treatment centre at Duke. As part of standard practice, the cord blood was stored in its frozen state for a few months, and they ran confirmatory quality checks on small test sub-samples. Once the results came through as satisfactory, a transplant day was scheduled. The transplant itself is relatively straight forward; the cord blood is carefully thawed and infused into the recipient’s blood system. 

This transplant went ahead with no complications. However, at this time, it is too early to detect whether or not there has been any improvement in the young boy’s condition. There has been though encouraging trails, using cord blood infusions in cerebral palsy, with work focussed initially on using children’s own cord blood stem cells. It was used to determine the safety and also gain insight into the potential benefits of the treatment, which has led the Duke team to consider the use of sibling cord blood as a treatment option. The results have shown to be safe. However, it will take time data regarding clinical outcome to be collected and published.

Dr Ann Smith, Scientific Director Scientific Director, at Smart Cells: 

“Treatment centres must ensure the safety and efficacy of stem cell-based therapies for human application. At SC, we work to high standards to ensure that the units of cord blood that we process and store are of suitable quality for therapeutic use. It has been gratifying to note that the Duke team have been happy to collaborate with SC on several occasions as we provide a high-quality cord blood product and service to clients and clinical end-users.”

She added: 

“We have experience of shipping cryopreserved cord blood worldwide according to stringent regulatory requirements and international standards for a variety of treatment options. The procedures from initial treatment proposal to cord blood release and follow up including working closely with clinical teams are well mapped out, and at SC we are happy to guide clients and our partner offices through the journey.

SC is proud to offer exceptionally high-quality service and to be involved in the field of cellular therapeutics for established transplantation and also more innovative treatment strategies.”

For the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, this is just one of many cutting edge cell-based treatment strategy of regenerative medicine. In the future, we hope that researchers and clinical teams will be able to harness the potential of stem cells to bring innovative therapies to patients.

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