The best Christmas gift of the year
Christmas 2015 was really special to one little Spanish girl and will be remembered fondly forever by her and her family. The five-year old, who is affected with neuroblastoma, was transplanted with her own stem cells that were stored at Vita 34 beforehand within the scope of therapeutic treatment, so that the little girl could start the new year full of hope.
The parents had fortunately taken precautions for their daughter’s future and decided early to have stem cells stored. These cells are collected at birth in a safe procedure and without any risk for mother and child and stored at minus 190 degrees Celsius. The umbilical cord contains stem cells that are very young, show no age-related damages or changes yet and are free from viruses because they were protected in the womb.
The parents benefited from these premium prerequisites. In close collaboration with Vita 34, the second-largest stem cell bank in Europe, and the doctors of the university hospital “Niño Jesús” in Madrid, they decided to have stem cells transplantation performed on their daughter. The girl’s stem cell deposit stored at the German biotech company Vita 34 in Leipzig was prepared by stem cell experts for the transplantation and supplied to the doctor in attendance, Dr. Eva Gonzales, specialist in hematology and hemotherapy at the Hospital Universitario Infantil. She did not only praise the excellent quality of the preparation, which can be recognized among other things by the provided quantity of umbilical cord blood and the large number of contained stem cells, but also the consistent documentation provided by Vita 34.
Under these circumstances, the stem cells were transplanted easily and without any complications to the little patient. The girl recovered well from the so-called autologous application (i.e. donor and recipient are the same person). With this 30th application of a stem cell preparation stored and prepared for the transplantation at the in-house laboratory, Vita 34 was able to prove once again great medical quality and is still the only private stem cell bank in the German-speaking countries, the preparations of which are really applied.
Neuroblastoma is a malignant infantile disease affecting one of 5,000 children worldwide every year – about 150 of them in Germany. The therapy applied in such cases depends on the stage of the disease. Usually, they apply high-dose chemotherapy at first and resect the tumor surgically. Radiation therapy may be applied in addition, if necessary. Then, autologous stem cells, i.e. collected from the patient as an individual precaution beforehand and stored for application, are transplanted. This therapeutic approach increases the survival rate for this disease significantly.
The potential of stem cells from the umbilical cord is enormous and gives access to entirely new therapeutic options in the field of individualized, regenerative medicine, including the treatment of the consequences of neurological damages and degenerative diseases such as heart attack or stroke. “We are convinced that stem cell research makes substantial progress and creates entirely new possibilities to treat public health problems”, says Dr. André Gerth, CEO of Vita 34 AG. Leading scientists assume that in the near future every seventh person may need a therapy based on stem cells in the course of their lives. The purpose of the efforts of Vita 34 is to provide all these people with new products and therapies based on stem cells … like the little Spanish girl in Madrid.
For the five-year old girl and her parents, Vita 34 wants the stem cells to fully develop their regenerative potential, so that the New Year may start as full of hope as the old one ended. Because that was when the little girl got the best of all Christmas gifts: the chance to survive!