One Florida child is free of cancer, only 17 months after receiving a cord blood transplant from the National Cord Blood Program (NCBP) through New York Blood Center's Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center. Two year old Adolfo Gonzalez was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) at the age of 13 months. This particular blood cancer tends to hit children before they turn five.
JMML is rare, affecting less than 1% of children suffering from infant leukemia. The prognosis for JMML is grim, with most children succumbing to the disease before the age of 3 years. According to Gary Kleiner, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric immunologist from the University of Miami School of Medicine, "Adolfo Gonzalez would most likely not be alive today if it weren't for the cord blood transplant. The mother who donated her cord blood to the public cord blood bank at New York's National Cord Blood Program basically saved his life."
Adolfo was treated with chemotherapy to destroy the leukemia cells. Chemo was followed by the cord blood stem cell transplant. While the boy did suffer some complications, only 2 weeks after receiving the stem cell infusion, his white cell count was well on its way back to normal levels. Now, 17 months after the transplant, Adolfo shows no signs of leukemia.
NCBP's Chief Scientist Pablo Rubinstein, M.D. is ecstatic, ""We're thrilled that NCBP, the first and largest public cord blood bank in the world, was able to help Adolfo and his family. He's among almost 3,000 people who have received a match from the 50,000 units we've frozen since 1992."
NCBP was launched in 1992 as the first cord blood bank to collect, process, and preserve umbilical cord blood, making the units available for stem cell transplants for any patient in need. Today, NCBP handles requests worldwide. Accessing cord blood units can be accomplished through the NETCord database and more recently, via the National Marrow Donor Program's Single Point of Access (SPA).
One of the United States largest blood centers, New York Blood Center (NYBC) has non-profit status and has serviced the greater New York area since 1964. NYBC hosts the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute as well as the National Cord Blood Program associated with the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, which, worldwide, is the largest cord blood bank servicing the public. NYBC also provides medical services and hosts a number of programs under headings such as Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services, administered by transfusion medicine physicians as well as other medical professionals.