10-year-old girl receives stem cells from father, blood from younger brother

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SHINE ,07/03/2024

A 10-year-old girl with acute leukemia received a transplant of half-matched stem cells from her father and fully matched umbilical blood from her younger brother on Thursday.

The girl had suffered a fever with no known reason for over a week in September last year and medical checks found she had leukemia. The parents took her to the Children’s Hospital of Soochow University.

The treatment went smoothly and the girl’s condition was stabilized after two sessions of chemotherapy. As her mother was about to have a second baby, doctors suggested the parents store the newborn’s umbilical cord blood for the girl’s transplant.

The parents contacted the Shanghai Cord Blood Bank, which collected and stored the newborn’s umbilical cord. Follow-up tests confirmed the younger brother is a complete match to his sister.

Officials from the blood bank said half of siblings might achieve a half-match and only a quarter of siblings match fully.

The transfusion on Thursday also went smooth. It will take two to three weeks to determine whether the transfusion is successful or not, doctors said.


The 10-year-old girl receives a transfusion on Thursday.

Dr Hu Shaoyan, director of the hospital’s hemotalogy department, said that it was ideal for the girl to receive stem cell transfusion within six months and it was the best timing for her transfusion.

Since it was established in 2004, the cord blood bank has become the largest umbilical cord blood bank in China and achieved 100 of percent matching for Chinese patients.

It has performed over 6,800 stem cell transplants. Over 60.3 percent of patients survived over five years, meeting worldwide criteria. The five-year survival rate for acute leukemia patients under the cooperation between the cord blood bank and the children’s hospital is more than 80 percent.

Umbilical cord blood can be utilized alone or as an assistance therapy if the patient is a half match to the donor (usually a parent) to minimize rejection and increase transplant outcomes.


The umbilical cord blood from the girl’s younger brother.

Source: SHINE

Link: https://www.shine.cn/news/metro/2403076032/

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