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Stem Cell Treatment Cures Childs Thalassemia


Several months ago an eight-year-old girl underwent surgery to receive the cord blood stem cell of her younger sister. The child was suffering from thalassemia, a disorder that affects red blood corpuscles. A thalassemia patient might require blood transfusion as frequently as once every week, a disorder which is often fatal in children.

Less than a year after the successful operation, the child is well on the road to full recovery from this treatment and a number of other precautions taken to ensure well-being, including a healthy diet, organic bedding, and light exercise to keep energy up – something that always helps with treatment.

S Abhayakumar, vice-chairman of LifeCell, which helped preserve Pugazhendi’s cord blood stem cells in Chennai, said a new-born sibling’s umbilical cord blood provided a better chance of HLA matching as there is a 25% chance for a perfect match and 50% chance for partial match. “A sibling’s cord blood for transplant lowers the chances of donor rejection. Therefore, it is a preferred source for transplantation,” he said.

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