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Erik J. Woods, PhD
Mar 2013   This case report describes a novel stem cell transplant that we performed for a girl with Fanconi anemia. Children with Fanconi anemia have genetic defects that prevent normal DNA repair. The disease leads to bone marrow failure, and also to acute leukemia and solid tumors. The only long-term solution for the marrow failure is a transplant with normal blood-forming stem cells, either from a bone marrow donor or a cord blood donor. The very first cord blood transplant in the world was performed in 1988 for a child with Fanconi anemia.
Mar 2013   Susan K. Stewart was in the prime of her life when, at age 38, she was told she had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. "I was stunned", recalls Stewart. "I had no idea what a bone marrow transplant was or even why bone marrow was important."
Mi Kwon, MD
Mar 2013   When a patient needs a stem cell transplant, the physician's goal is to find donor stem cells that match the patient's Human Leukocyte Antigens, also known as HLA type. The ideal donor is a sibling who is an exact match, but only about 30% of patients can find a matching donor in their family. The next best thing is a matching unrelated donor (MUD) of bone marrow. But here too, not all patients can find a match. It is especially difficult for patients of African descent or mixed ancestry to find matching bone marrow donors. At this point, the next step is to look for a cord blood donation that is a close enough match.