An Indian boy aged two received a stem cell transplant in Shanghai on Sunday to treat his life-threatening aplastic anemia.
He received half-matched stem cells from his father and his own umbilical cord blood, which his parents stored upon his delivery, the Shanghai Cord Blood Bank said.
The use of umbilical cord blood can streamline the successful transplant of the partially-matched stem cells from the father and reduce rejection, experts said.
The transplant was a success but it will take about two weeks to confirm the final results. If everything goes smoothly, the boy can regain his health and enjoy a normal life like other children, doctors said.
The boy started to show symptoms such as poor appetite and poor sleep when he was one year old. Doctors confirmed he suffered very serious aplastic anemia and needed a blood transfusion, which is not not a cure. A stem cell transplant is the only solution.
Umbilical cord blood is one of the important sources of stem cell, which can be used to treat more than 80 diseases such as leukemia, blood diseases, aplastic anemia and immunity disorders. It is widely used for clinical practice and scientific research on blood disease, immunity disease, digestive system, nervous system and regenerative medicine.
So far, the cord blood bank has offered transplants to more than 6,000 patients and 60 percent have had a five-year survival rate, meaning clinical recovery.