July 29, 2008
Another child has benefitted from umbilical cord blood treatment for cerebral palsy. Chloe Levine was diagnosed at age 1 with cerebral palsy. Her parents had saved her cord blood, and she had it re-infused in an experimental procedure at Duke University. Only two months after receiving her own cord blood stem cells, she is reported to have made a 50% recovery.
This is only the latest story where cord blood adult stem cells have helped children with cerebral palsy. Ryan Schneider and Dallas Hextell are a couple more. But it’s also important to keep in mind that while these are great feel-good stories, the treatment is still experimental; no peer-reviewed papers have been published yet on these clinical trials. Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke cautions that “it’s impossible to tell at this point” just how much progress Dallas and others in the trial will make.
One other thing is of vital importance—that we collect cord blood and bank it. Private banks are good if people can afford it, but we also need many more public banks so everyone can have access to a match.