Friday, December 28, 2007

Adult Stem Cells Successfully Fighting Rare Leukemia

Sam Cook's latest column for The News-Press (Southwest Florida) carried this good news story involving yet another medical intervention using stem cells derived from cord blood.

Caleb Robert Whan, the cancer-stricken kid with bounce-back ability like his fantasy superhero Spider-Man, is making a record recovery. “He needs to stay free of infections and fevers for 100 days,’’ says Rob Whan of his son. “He is coming along real good. He has a runny nose, but the doctor has him on a kick-butt antibiotic to fight it.’’

Caleb, 3, was diagnosed with acute lympoblastic leukemia in August. A week later, doctors also found hypodiploidy mutation, which means leukemia cells have a chromosome mutation that resists conventional chemotherapy.
You can count on both hands the number of acute lympoblastic leukemia with hypodiploidy cases each year.

Facing a 20 percent chance of survival without an umbilical cord stem cell, Duke University doctors performed stem cell rescue Nov. 20. Caleb’s prognosis since the surgery has been good:

• Normally, cells take 14 to 21 days to engraft. Caleb’s white cells took root in 12 days.

• Normally, the patient spends 45 days recovering after surgery. Caleb was released after 21 days Dec. 11...