Chinese doctors have successfully transplanted purified hemopoietic stem cells from a mother to her son.
This is the first successful transplant of hemopoietic stem cells between a mother and son in China.
The nine-year-old boy, You Bin, from east China's Fujian Province, was diagnosed as having acute lymphatic leukemia in February 1999. He had a relapse after undergoing chemotherapy in January this year.
Further medical examinations at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center indicated that the boy's 9th and 22nd pair of chromosomes were out of place.
Doctors believed that since he had had a relapse, the only way to save the boy's life was to transplant hemopoietic stem cells from another person to help rebuild his blood system.
His mother was chosen as the most suitable person to supply the hemopoietic stem cells, but because the probability of the same type of human leucocyte antigens being in both parents and children was only 50 percent, there was a high possibility of rejection.
Another difficulty and possible cause of rejection was that hemopoietic stem cells are usually mixed with other cells, such as lymphocytes and lipocytes.
To ensure success, on July 12 the doctors added CD34 positive antibodies to sort out the hemopoietic stem cells because these cells have CD34 positive antigens on their surface.
The purified hemopoietic stem cells were then transplanted into the boy and the following day he was injected with five milliliters of lymphocytes to bring about a slight rejection to help kill leukemia cells.
According to the doctors, the boy's abnormal chromosomes disappeared 30 days after the operation and the slight rejection was brought under complete control in 45 days.
The boy was recently discharged from the hospital.
Local experts said that the new method provides a new suitable source of hemopoietic stem cells for leukemia sufferers.
(People's Daily 11/05/2000)