Seven boys and two girls have been cured of sickle cell anemia thanks to an improved treatment pioneered by the Alberta Children’s Hospital!
Historically, sickle cell anemia has required a high-risk treatment plan leading up to a stem cell transplant. For many patients, the medication used throughout treatment was either unsuccessful or fatal – that is, until Dr. Greg Guilcher and his team performed a transplant for 17-year-old Cardelia Fox.
Using an improved, lighter and less invasive pre-transplant treatment, Cardelia was one of the first patients to undergo a stem cell transplant using the new procedure. And since then, a total of nine children have been cured of sickle cell anemia.
Transplant procedures are most successful when using stem cells from other family members. In Cardelia’s case, her sister was her donor. Cardelia’s transplant showcases the incredible healing properties of stem cells.
You can learn more about the stem cell transplant procedure pioneered at Alberta’s Children’s Hospital here.
Life-saving stem cells, like the ones used in Cardelia’s transplant – are also found in cord blood, and can be used as part of the transplant procedure to treat over 80 diseases and help ensure successful outcomes.