Cord blood stem cells cure paralysis

Discuss stem cells, adult and embryonic, and their therapeutic potential for MS here.

Cord blood stem cells cure paralysis

Postby adjanimals » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:44 am

Another one on cord blood.

Now if this is legit. Why dosen't somebody get going and try it in MS patients? ... 253284.inp

Cord blood stem cells cure paralysis
3:23 PM November 28

A South Korean woman paralysed for 20 years is walking again after scientists repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.

South Korean researchers last week went public for the first time with the results of their stem cell therapy.

Ms Hwang walked into their press conference with the help of a walking frame.

The researchers say that it is the world's first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries has been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

The researchers caution that more research is needed and verification from international experts is required but the case could signal a leap forward in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.

The use of stem cells from cord blood could also point to a way to side-step the ethical dispute over the controversial use of embryos in embryonic stem cell research.

"We have glimpsed at a silver lining over the horizon," Song Chang-Hoon, a member of the research team, said.

"We were all surprised at the fast improvements in the patient."

Ms Hwang stood up from her wheelchair and shuffled forward and back a few paces with the help of the frame at the press conference.

"This is already a miracle for me," she said. "I never dreamed of getting to my feet again."

Multipotent cells

Medical research has shown stem cells can develop into replacement cells for damaged organs or body parts.

Unlocking that potential could see cures for diseases that are at present incurable, or even see the body generate new organs to replace damaged or failing ones.

"Multipotent" stem cells, such as those found in cord blood, are capable of forming a limited number of specialised cell types, unlike the more versatile "undifferentiated" cells that are derived from embryos.

However, these umbilical cord blood stem cells have emerged as an ethical and safe alternative to embryonic stem cells.

Clinical trials with embryonic stem cells are believed to be years away because of the risks and ethical problems involved in the production of embryos, which are regarded as living humans by some people, for scientific use.

In contrast, there is no ethical dimension when stem cells from umbilical cord blood are obtained.

Additionally, umbilical cord blood stem cells trigger little immune response in the recipient.

Embryonic stem cells have a tendency to form tumours when injected into animals or human beings.

Technical difficulties

For the therapy, multipotent stem cells were isolated from umbilical cord blood, which had been frozen immediately after the birth of a baby and cultured for a period of time.

These cells were then directly injected to the damaged part of the spinal cord.

"Technical difficulties exist in isolating stem cells from frozen umbilical cord blood, finding cells with genes matching those of the recipient and selecting the right place of the body to deliver the cells," Han Hoon, president of government-backed umbilical cord blood bank Histostem, said.

Dr Han teamed up with Dr Song and other experts for the experiment.

They say that more experiments are required to verify the outcome of the landmark therapy.

"It is just one case and we need more experiments, more data," Oh Il-Hoon, another researcher, said.

"I believe experts in other countries have been conducting similar experiments and accumulating data before making the results public."


Source: AFP
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Postby Arron » Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:44 am

This is an incredible story and we had marked it for the front page two days ago... thank you for getting it up on the forum as well!
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Postby OddDuck » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:58 pm

This may be a little off-topic, but what I found interesting recently was that when my son and daughter-in-law had their new baby (in September), it was offered to them that the stem cells from the baby's umbilical cord could be saved for them should anyone in the immediate family ever need them for anything. (Also assuming that stem cell research continues to go forward.)

But.....I found that really interesting! Of course, they did do it. So they have umbilical stem cells saved (frozen or something....whatever they do with them to preserve them).

I thought that was really neat! I never knew that was being offered to new parents here in the U.S.!

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Postby LindaR » Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:24 am

My first cousin just had her baby in July and she had the cord saved for me (frozen). I costs about $1,500 to do and then there is an annual storage fee. I think the fee is less than $50 a year. We live in CT.
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