Portuguese child successfully treated with private stored stem cells
Porto / Brussels July 16 2007. – A child suffering from a severe T-cell (CD8+) immune deficiency syndrome has been treated successfully with umbilical cord blood stem cells in Portugal. The child’s congenital dificiency was clinically diagnosed in Coimbra. The transplantation treatment was performed at the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, lead by director Dr. Pedro Pimentel at the Oncology Institute in Porto. Dr. Alzira Carvalhais is the head of the Immuno-Hemato Therapy Department.
The transplantation was performed mid February and the child could leave the hospital after 35 days of strict isolation by end of March 2007. The stem cells used for this transplantation were derived from the child’s brother. The stem cells were harvested from the umbilical cord blood using a collection kit provided by Cryo-Save. The umbilical cord blood sample was processed and stored at the private stem cell bank facilities of Cryo-Save in Belgium.
The Oncology Institute is certified from the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and has gained expertise and reputation. Upon the explicit medical recommendation by Dr. Pedro Pimentel, the use of stem cells from the child’s brother were preferred because of compatibility and availability. The stem cells were released by Cryo-Save and qualified for this treatment both from a qualitative and a quantitative perspective.
We are very happy that this child has been treated successfully with his own brother’s stem cells. Luckily the child’s parents were convinced to store the stem cells in a private bank at our facilities
, says Marc Waeterschoot, CEO Cryo-Save Group.
Treatments using umbilical cord blood stem cells are becoming more and more important for different diseases, such as leukaemia, lymphomas, immune deficiencies etc. However a case by case assessment remains always necessary. For treatments within a family, where the child’s own stem cells cannot be used in certain clinical indications, stem cells from brothers or sisters can be preferred. This case underlines the importance of storing a child’s stem cells at birth and illustrates once more the ideal cooperation between a public and private stem cell bank.
Cryo-Save stem cell storage services are provided to children and families all over Europe and in Portugal since 2003. Currently more than 11.000 samples from Portugal are stored in the state of the art laboratory facilities in Belgium. Cryo-Save is represented in Portugal through Cryo-Save Portugal and its distributor (Grupo Sampletest), who is providing additional information to doctors, obstetricians and parents about the relevance of storing stem cells derived from the umbilical cord blood.