Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Are Curing Patients
Interview With Two Pioneer Scientists
ROME, JULY 28, 2005 (Zenit) - Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic works with an international network to make umbilical cord stem cells available to patients with acute leukemia, thalassemia, lymphomas and congenital immune-deficiencies.
The clinic runs a bank for umbilical cords, and any patient, from anywhere in the world, who is genetically compatible with one of the units of blood of the umbilical cords stored, can receive a unit of blood from the umbilical cord for transplant purposes.
An international network to identify donors has been operative since 1995, thanks to a computer file which has data on marrow and placenta blood donors worldwide.
The bank's activities are coordinated by professor Giuseppe Leone, director of the Institute of Hematology of the Catholic University of Rome, and professor Salvatore Mancuso, director of the Department for the Protection of Woman and Nascent Life.
In this interview with us, Leone and Mancuso discuss the present state of stem cell research.
Q: What is your response to those who say that using embryonic stem cells, and not those from the umbilical cord, is the answer for illnesses such as leukemia, or of the blood in general?
Leone: First of all, let's speak from a clinical point of view: Cells from embryos have never been used and they have certainly not demonstrated therapeutic capacities.
On the contrary, adult stem cells, and those of the umbilical cord, have demonstrated their validity in marrow transplants, for example, in the case of patients with thalassemia, or children with leukemia. At present, there is no patient who has been cured with embryonic stem cells. This must be clarified.
To those who say that ethics removes a "possibility" of cure, one should say that at most it removes a "hope." But if we want to speak of hope, then we can experiment with animal embryos. Once we have studied animal embryos we will be able to say something on the subject, we will have understood a bit more. I do not see any reason why at present human embryos should be used. Ethical problems to one side, animals must be studied first.
Q: Are women told about the possibility of donating the umbilical cord to one of these banks?
Mancuso: Increasingly. When they come to give birth in our department, they request that the blood of the umbilical cord be donated because of the spirit of solidarity that is increasingly spreading. However, not all umbilical cords can be collected and kept for donation, as there are certain minimum requirements on the family history of both spouses.
It is necessary that the pregnancy come to its termination, as there is a whole series of counter-indications. We can collect for donations between 30-35% of the umbilical cords from births that take place in our department. But much of the blood collected from umbilical cords is useful for research.
At present, there is great interest in research, not only in our department, but also in hematology, cardiology and neurology, as adult stem cells have an extraordinary versatility and, in fact, are restorative.
Q: How long can these cells be stored?
Mancuso: I would dare to say that they can be stored for an infinite amount of time. Today there are cells that have been stored for 30 years and that, to a large extent, maintain their capacity to be used. At present, the scientific community in several research centers is seeking to store and multiply them in vitro, as the amount of stem cells that can be collected from a cord are not that many.
Leone: They have been used, above all, to patients with acute leukemia, thalassemia, lymphomas, or congenital immune-deficiencies. These sicknesses are benefiting at present the transplant of stem cells from the umbilical cord. Research, obviously, tries to go further. The blood of the cord can give us hope for other pathologies. Now there are hopes for heart disease.
Q: When you say that sicknesses "are benefiting," what do you mean?
Leone: In the case of acute leukemia, there is a certain number of patients that are cured, in the case of thalassemia, the percentage is higher. In the case of immune-deficiencies, 70-80% are cured. In the case of leukemia, it is 35-40%. We are talking, that is, of cures.
https://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Umbilical, Cord, Stem Cell, Research, Life
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- California bill that could BAN THE BIBLE advances
- Five things Catholics can do to promote international religious freedom
- Death threats for opposing gay marriage? Florist appeals to Supreme Court
- Has California just voted to ban the BIBLE? HD Video
- Daily Readings for Saturday, April 21, 2018
- St. Anselm: Saint of the Day for Saturday, April 21, 2018
- Daily Reading for Monday, April 23rd, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 HD
- Global Warming threatening Europe with colder weather HD
- The Memorare HD
- God Alone Suffices HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education