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Leukemia boy saved with baby sister's cord blood

THE eight-year-old boy who received umbilical cord blood from his 22-month-old sister to treat his leukemia a month ago has become healthy again, the Shanghai Cord Blood Center said today. The boy identified as Jia Jia was discharged yesterday from Shanghai Daopei Hospital's bioclean treatment unit which is specialized in stem cell transplant after doctors said the transplant was successful. The boy is expected to stay in an ordinary ward for full recovery from the deadly disease. Umbilical cord blood collected at childbirth and bone marrow collected from an adult donor are used to treat blood and autoimmune diseases effectively. Their key ingredient is stem cells. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are less mature than those in adult bone marrow and less prone to be rejected by the recipient. Jia Jia, who is from neighboring Jiangsu Province, was diagnosed of acute leukemia at the age of five. The disease was brought under control after chemotherapy. To cure his disease, his parents gave birth to a girl in 2009 to obtain her umbilical cord blood and stored it at the Shanghai Cord Blood Bank. When Jia Jia's leukemia got worse this year, doctors said a stem cell transplant was the only solution because the first round of chemotherapy has damaged the boy's organs.

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