In 2005 E.M., a girl aged four who suffered an acute lymphoblastic leukemia and whose life expectancy was three months, received a transplant of stem cells from their own umbilical cord: an unpublished treatment in the world and that until then he had not succeeded, since the cells of the patient were not effective in the fight against cancer. Two years later, a team of American and German doctors published the results of the procedure in the specialized journal Pediatrics: there were no cancerous cells in his body, a situation that remains until now, six years later, what makes very likely cure 20 months after the transplant. This is the term after which physicians consider that a child is effectively cured of the disease by what E.M. becomes the first patient in the world that is cured of leukemia thanks to an own stem cell transplantation. The particularity of this transplant is that it became with cells from the patient, while the majority of the cases is done with stem cells donated by third parties. In 20% of procedures, cells belonging to brothers of the sick, while the remaining 80% are used stem cells from other people. The girl began to experience the first symptoms at age 3.
Blood tests revealed that he was suffering from leukemia. While she was undergoing chemotherapy, he suffered two strong relapses and the cancerous cells were reaching your brain. His parents had saved his umbilical cord when she was born, without thinking that it would save you life. According to the American society’s fight against Cancer, leukemias account for one quarter of all types of cancer affecting persons under 15 years and, of these, 60% are of this acute type.