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cure thru umbilical cord - msnbc news story

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cure thru umbilical cord - msnbc news story

Postby blondieblue227 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:00 pm

I want to know more about this procedure. I know it can’t help me now that I’m an adult. Still I would like to know how it works. Where do they inject the blood/stem cells?
Why isn’t it receiving more news coverage?

this board won't let me post the link to the story because i'm new.

Last edited by blondieblue227 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby blondieblue227 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:02 pm


By Bob Considine
updated 11:41 a.m. ET, Tues., March. 11, 2008
Dallas Hextell was already a miracle to parents Cynthia and Derak, after they spent three years trying to get pregnant.

But now he is looking like a medical miracle to the rest of the world.

The 2-year-old son of the Sacramento, Calif., couple was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but is now showing fewer signs of the disorder and marked improvement after an infusion of his own stem cells — made possible by the preservation of his own cord blood shortly before birth.

Derak Hextell now believes his son will be cured of the incurable malady.

“[Dallas’ doctors] said by the age of 7, there may be no signs of cerebral palsy at all,” Hextell told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira while holding a curious Dallas on his lap. “So he’s on his way, as far as we’re concerned.”

For Cynthia Hextell, the changes in Dallas just five days after the intravenous infusion of his cord blood cells are not coincidental.

“[He’s changed] almost in every way you can imagine, just from five days afterwards saying ‘mama’ and waving,” she said. “We just feel like right now he really connects with you.

“It just seemed like a fog was over him before, like he just really wasn’t there. There was kind of, like a glaze in his eyes. Now, as you can see, you can’t get anything past him.”

A difficult start
The joy of Dallas’ birth in 2006 was met with gradual heartbreak as he was unable to feed from his mother. He was constantly crying and rarely opened his eyes. At five months, Dallas had trouble balancing himself and his head was often cocked to one side.

The Hextells switched pediatricians when Dallas was eight months old and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy — a group of nonprogressive disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and to maintain balance and posture.

Various studies show that the damage to the motor-control centers of the young, developing brain that causes CP occurs during pregnancy, although there are smaller percentages of the disorder occurring during childbirth and after birth through the age of 3.

“I think it’s important to remind people that cerebral palsy has to do with the motor part of the brain and usually kids don’t deteriorate,” said Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News’ chief medical editor. “But they have significant motor problems, which explains why he wasn’t a good sucker when he was breast-feeding as a baby and all of this colicky stuff that sort of confused the diagnosis.”

There is no known cure for cerebral palsy, and the treatments to help manage its debilitating effects make it the second-most expensive developmental disability to manage over a person’s lifetime, behind mental disabilities.

At 18 months, Dallas had very limited motor skills. He could not crawl, clap or sit up and he communicated only through screaming brought on mostly by pain and frustration.

Life-changing decision
During her pregnancy, Cynthia Hextell had done thorough Web research on health issues relating to childbirth and came across a pop-up ad for Cord Blood Registry, the world’s largest family cord blood stem cell bank. The San Bruno, Calf.-based company has preserved cord blood stem cells for more than 200,000 newborns throughout the world.

Hextell said the cost of saving Dallas’ cord blood — about $2,000 and not covered by insurance — was off-putting. But she ultimately registered for CBR, thinking she would rather put up the money and not use it rather than have saved it and regretted it later.

(Cord Blood Registry spokesman David Zitlow said the procedure costs $2,000 for processing and $120 per year for storage.)

“We had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, but it did take us three years to get pregnant,” Cynthia Hextell told Vieira. “It was a good chance he was going to be our only child, so that was one thing that if we were going to do it, this was our only chance.

“Heart disease ran in [Derak Hextell’s] family. I was adopted, so I knew if we ever needed something, Dallas and I were the only ones [who could provide a genetic match]. So those were things [we considered], but nothing like I thought something was going to be wrong with my child. Literally, it took us until about two weeks before our due date to make the final decision because it is expensive.”

After Dallas was diagnosed, the Hextells traveled to Duke University, where doctors were using cord blood as part of a clinical trial to treat a small number of children who had cerebral palsy or brain damage. Mrs. Hextell called some of the parents of the children and all of them reported tangible improvement in their children following the transplant of stem cells, evidenced in better speech and motor skills.

So the Hextells agreed to infuse Dallas’ own stem cells back into his bloodstream last July, a procedure that took less than an hour.

Within five days, a different child emerged — laughing, clapping, waving and reacting.

“We think [the transfusion] has a real big part to do with it because it was such a drastic change within five days of the procedure taking place,” Derak Hextell said. “It had to be because he wasn’t reaching the milestones that he’s reaching now. He was falling further and further behind.”

“Before he went to Duke, we were trying to teach him to use a walker,” Cynthia Hextell said. “Now he walks with no assistance at all.”

Saving the cells
Although Dallas’ case was not part of a controlled case study, Snyderman said it should not be overlooked in the progressing studies of stem cell treatments.

“I think the thing that medicine has not done very well is we haven’t made a big enough deal about anecdotes,” she said. “This is not a controlled case study. It’s not a randomized clinical trial. But it is a child with a diagnosis who got a transfusion of stem cells and not only stopped the deterioration of his problems, [but] he’s doing better.

“So I take it very seriously. And I think it’s an extraordinary reminder that cord blood, that stuff that is thrown away with the placenta in the emergency room as sort of medical waste, can have extraordinary applications. We’re all offered it in the delivery room.”

Snyderman didn’t have to convince one person about the promise of those stem cells.

Said Cynthia Hextell: “They’re like gold.”

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Postby jennifer18 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:51 pm

Thank you, I was born with cerebral palsy
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Postby blondieblue227 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:13 pm

it's been a few months now.

my thoughts........

is this a joke? did this really happen?
why haven't i heard more about this?
how many other childern have had this treatment?
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Postby admin » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:31 am

This is the first I have heard about this too. I live about 15 min. from think this would have made the local news out here.
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Postby blondieblue227 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:38 pm

Yeah. Is it some kind of conspiracy cover up?

I’m a member of We got to talking about this and a woman said she heard of a little girl who had CP and received this type of treatment and was cured as well.

Why is this not big news!?
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Postby sarahsmom » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:32 pm

I don't think this is a joke. My DD (who's 2 1/2) has CP. We called Duke university back in Aug 2008 (when the story first broke because they were doing the clinical trials) and they said it was only for kids who's parents had banked their cord blood (we did not). Right now, we are in the process of going to a clinic in Germany that a family friend (who's a physician) told us about. They use adult stem cells from your hip bone and transplant them either near your brain or in the spinal fluid in your back (since that goes circulates up to your brain). The place is called the X-Cell center. We've had a number of our daughter's specialists look at the place and its creditials and they all gave us the green light. We sent in her MRI images as well as physician reports. They've told us its not a sure thing (as it depends on where the stem cells go and what part of the brain they regenerate) but the biggest risk is just the general that they give her to get the stem cells out (only because she's so little, it's not likely she will sit still for the procedure which takes 45 min).
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