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Cord-blood Transplants in Wisconsin Hospitals are Now Available to ill Adults

Transplants of stem cells from donors are used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening conditions. Patients receive radiation and chemotherapy to kill their diseased blood cells, a process that severely weakens their immune systems. The transplanted cells replace the diseased cells and other immune-system cells with healthy cells from a donor. Cord-blood transplants began in the 1990s, using donated umbilical cords. The cords usually contain fewer stem cells than marrow or blood, but they carry an advantage: Their immune systems are naive, so they're less likely to cause rejection. Studies have shown that cord-blood transplants, using two cords, were often as effective as bone marrow transplants. UW Hospital has joined other medical centers to further study cord blood transplants in a clinical trial.

Transplants of stem cells from donors are used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening conditions. Patients receive radiation and chemotherapy to kill their diseased blood cells, a process that severely weakens their immune systems. The transplanted cells replace the diseased cells and other immune-system cells with healthy cells from a donor. Cord-blood transplants began in the 1990s, using donated umbilical cords. The cords usually contain fewer stem cells than marrow or blood, but they carry an advantage: Their immune systems are naive, so they're less likely to cause rejection. Studies have shown that cord-blood transplants, using two cords, were often as effective as bone marrow transplants. UW Hospital has joined other medical centers to further study cord blood transplants in a clinical trial.

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