Non-blood related umbilical cord used for cancer treatment

The National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion were successful in performing a stem cell transplant for a cancer patient which used non-blood related umbilical cord, said the institute director Nguyen Anh Tri.

The patient, 28-year-old Hoang Thi Thuy Linh from the central province of Quang Binh, was diagnosed with blood cancer in September last year. The best treatment for her disease is a stem cell transplant; however, her mere brother's stem cell are not compatible with hers.

Accordingly, doctors were finding stem cell in the institute's community stem cell bank. At last, doctor found three of 450 blood samples stored at the institute's community stem cell bank were found to be compatible with her.

The three main sources of stem cells are bone marrow fluid, periphery blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood.

Linh's stem cell transplant was conducted towards the end of December last year. Three months after the operation, Linh's health condition is stable, she can walk and her blood index is like a normal people. The stem cell works in her body.

It is expected that she will be discharged in the middle of April.

The surgery cost is nearly VND1 billion (US$46,310). Health insurance company paid for half of the amount, the institute covered the umbilical cord with a cost of VND300 million ( US$13,900)

By Minh Khang - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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