There’s New Hope for Blood Cancers, And It Comes from Umbilical Cords

September 6, 2016

(The Washington Post) – What eventually saved her, though, was an experimental transplant using stem cells from the blood of a baby’s umbilical cord, an approach that can be used without perfectly matching blood types. This therapy and another — haploidentical transplantation, which uses bone-marrow cells that are only half-matched to a patient — have revolutionized the treatment of blood cancers in the past few years. Every biological child is a half-match for a parent, and vice versa. “Many patients who previously died for lack of a match are now cured of their underlying malignancy,” said Richard Jones, director of the bone-marrow transplant program at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.