Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Teenage stem cell patient recovering well, doctor says


A teenage Taiwanese girl who received a transplant of peripheral blood stem cells donated by a person from China last month is doing well after spending two weeks at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, medical sources said yesterday.

The girl has not rejected the transplant, there is no inflammation and the cancer cells that were in her blood before the transplant are gone, said Chiu Tsung-chieh (邱宗傑), a doctor at the hospital's Blood and Tumor Department.

more monitoring

Chiu said that although the peripheral blood stem cell transplant was successful and the patient can be discharged tomorrow, it would take three months of monitoring the patient's condition to ensure a severe rejection does not occur.

In addition, recipients of peripheral blood stem cell transplants need to be observed for a further one to two years to ensure that a chronic rejection does not develop, Chiu said.

The 15-year-old Taipei girl, who suffers from inherited anemia, was one of two Taiwanese recipients of peripheral blood stem cells donated by two Chinese women last month, thanks to the efforts of the Dao Pei Hospital in Beijing and Taiwan's Tzu Chi Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Center.

also fine

The other recipient, who received a similar transplant at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, was also reportedly doing fine after the operation.

It marked the first case in which Chinese citizens had donated peripheral blood stem cells for Taiwanese recipients.

Several Taiwanese citizens have donated bone marrow to Chinese recipients over the past few years under arrangements made by the Tzu Chi Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Center.

asia's largest

The center -- the largest of its kind in Asia -- has built up a databank of approximately 300,000 bone marrow samples since its inception in 1993 and has helped more than 300 victims of blood diseases to find a donor.

The center now has access to data on more than 10 million donors worldwide after linking up with two bone marrow data banks in the US and Germany late last year.

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