Scientists find new stem cell treatment to cure cancer
London: In a breakthrough, scientists claim to have developed a revolutionary treatment using placenta stem cells to cure patients with immune system failure, including those with blood cancer.
The finding could save thousands of victims of cancers such as leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma and Hodgkin`s disease every year, the scientists said.
The technique uses specially harvested cells to produce infection-fighting bone marrow, the `Daily Express` reported.
Scientists hope this will be lifesaving treatment for patients having undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy which destroys bone marrow and for people with conditions that cause immune system disorders.
"We had no alternative. It was to try these cells or the patients would not survive," Professor Reuven or, head of bone marrow transplantation at Israel`s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem said.
"Within a few weeks both the lady and the ?seven-year-old girl were well enough to go home and remain well," said Or, who has successfully used the technique on two patients facing death after all else failed.
The work will be presented at the American Society for Haematology in Atlanta in December.
Patients with blood cancers have most of their bone marrow destroyed when given radiation or chemotherapy to destroy their disease.
Bone marrow transplants rebuild the body`s immune system but a good match has to be found before a transplant can go ahead and up to 30 per cent fail because the body rejects the new cells.
Stem cells are harvested from placenta as discarded during a birth.
"This discovery could be of huge importance," said Professor Tony Pagliuca, blood and transplant specialist at London`s King`s College Hospital.