A young Italian offered hope of recovery to an English patient suffering from a serious form of blood cancer, performing an act of great altruism and solidarity.
The Italian donor donated his haematopoietic bone marrow stem cells, which reached the patient within 24 hours of collection. The Italian donor was the only person compatible with the patient among more than 37 million donors registered in the International Registers who are willing to donate their cells.
The transplantation of the cells can be autologous, that is, the transplanted cells are taken from the patient himself; or allogeneic, in which the transplanted cells are taken from another person.
Haematopoietic stem cells have been a therapeutic procedure for several decades in transplantation in the case of onco-haematological diseases, ensuring significant support for conventional radio-chemo-therapy treatments.
Thanks to their incredible properties, haematopoietic stem cells, once transplanted, restore the body’s ability to produce healthy blood cells and restore the patient’s immune system by helping him recover after chemotherapy.
These valuable cells can be obtained from bone marrow, peripheral blood and even from the umbilical cord. In particular, the umbilical cord is an extremely rich source of haematopoietic stem cells (contained in the blood) and mesenchymal stem cells (contained in the tissue).
Unlike bone marrow, which requires an invasive and often painful procedure, the collection of stem cells from the umbilical cord is a totally painless process and does not take more than 15 minutes after childbirth. In addition, cord stem cells are “younger” and can be used even when there is no complete HLA (human leukocyte antigen) compatibility between donor and recipient.
While supporting any family decision, Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science believes it is essential to raise community awareness of an important resource such as cord blood stem cells.
Visit our website or call us on 091 985 15 00 to find out more about the importance of preserving umbilical cord stem cells.