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Cord Blood Saves Girl Suffering from Leukemia

A five-year-old girl survived leukemia after being transfused with 62 milliliters of cord blood in east China's Zhejiang Province.

the girl,Shen Dan, left hospital Thursday in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province with her original blood type of O being transferred into type B.

Cord blood, the blood left in the placenta after a baby is born, has been proved to be as effective as bone marrow in saving children who suffer from leukemia or people whose immune system has been damaged.

The success of the operation, namely unrelated allogeneic allo umbilical cord stem cell transplantation (allo UCBSCT), is good news to other blood cancer patients, said professor Yu Rongxi who participated in the operation.

Shen Dan was found to have suffered from acute nonlymphocytic leukemia last year. She could not receive a bone marrow transplant operation owing to a lack of related bone marrow stem cells.

Doctors at Zhejiang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine decided to try a cord blood transplantation to save the girl.

On June 10 Shen Dan received 62 ml of cord blood and safely passed the rejection period and the adaptive phase. Her hematopoietic function of the bone marrow and chromosome resumed 45 days later. Her blood type was transferred into that of the cord blood.

Professor Yu said that this method is more suitable for patients under the age of 14 who have more stem cells.

The incidence rate of leukemia in China is 0.03 percent, and 0. 01 percent among children, Yu said.

Yu said that compared with bone marrow, cord blood is much easier to get and to match pairs. The operation expense is much lower, too, he said.

Currently only a few hospitals in China are capable of doing the allo UCBSCT.

(Xinhua News Agency 08/17/2001)

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