ZUTPHEN, The Netherlands, December 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Cryo-Save Group N.V. (Euronext: CRYO, 'Cryo-Save', or 'the Group'), the leading international stem cell storage company and the largest family stem cell bank in Europe announces that on December 10th 2013 a 4-year-old girl in Spain received an infusion of stem cells derived from her own umbilical cord blood for the treatment of her cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is one of the main areas of investigation of umbilical cord blood stem cell therapies.
The transplantation was performed by Dr Luis Madero, Head of the Oncohaematology Department of the Hospital Niño Jesús de Madrid, Spain. This is the third infusion of this type performed by Dr Madero to treat infantile cerebral palsy. "Although these types of treatments are still in very early investigation phases, it is believed that regenerative therapies with stem cells could be a therapeutic option to regenerate the nerve tissue and repair brain damage," asserts Dr Luis Madero.
This treatment was made possible because the child's umbilical cord blood was cryopreserved at the time of her birth with Cryo-Save.
"For such procedures to be successful it is of the greatest importance that the quality of the cryopreserved umbilical cord blood stem cells of the patient can be relied on by the transplanting clinicians. Cryo-Save continuously demonstrates that it meets all those requirements. We are very pleased to have been able again to serve the needs of our clients and their treating physicians adequately," said Ms. Evi Mattil, Cryo-Save CCO and CEO a.i.
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders suffered by one in every 500 children[i]. The exact cause is not always known. Although cerebral palsy was believed to be caused by an oxygen deprivation at birth, between 70% and 80% of these cases already begin in pregnancy (prenatal causes), 10% at the time of birth (perinatal causes) and 10% after birth (postnatal causes)[ii].
Cerebral palsy is the consequence of a series of injuries to certain parts of the developing brain, mainly in the different areas that control body movements and posture. It is a cerebral lesion, not a disease, since it is neither progressive nor contagious, and causes physical disability in human development.
There is no standard therapy that works for all children with cerebral palsy since each patient is unique. The children may improve and develop physically, but they do so at different rhythms. It is therefore difficult to differentiate between natural progression of a child with cerebral palsy and possible treatment benefits. Until now, the treatments used have been limited to rehabilitation and the prevention of complications; prevention and prediction are often difficult. Very recently, cell therapy with umbilical cord blood stem cells has been used since it is believed that the immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and regenerative mechanisms of cord blood mesenchymal stem cells may produce an improvement in these patients. Although preliminary findings are positive, they reinforce the need for clinical studies to evaluate the safety and therapeutic efficacy.
Ongoing clinical studies
At present there are several ongoing international clinical studies on the use of cord blood stem cells in the therapy of cerebral palsy.
A study is currently being carried out with 184 children at Duke University (United States): "Study of autologous cord blood infusion in children with acquired neurologic disorders." The vast majority of these patients (140) have cerebral palsy, the rest suffer from congenital hydrocephalus and other brain injuries. Patients are being followed for 12 months after infusion. Initial findings show that it is a safe treatment; hitherto there have been no adverse events. Although the study findings are not yet available, some families have reported positive effects for their child.
Another study on this condition is ongoing at the Georgia Medical College in the United States: "Safety and Effectiveness of Cord Blood Stem Cell Infusion for the Treatment of Cerebral Palsy in Children"[iii]. Research is also being carried out on the use of cord blood in countries such as Germany, Taiwan, Korea and Japan to treat other diseases such as diabetes, myocardial infarction and multiple sclerosis.
About Cryo-Save (http://www.cryo-save.com/group)
Cryo-Save, the leading international family stem cell bank, stores more than 250,000 samples from umbilical cord blood and cord tissue. There are already many diseases treatable by the use of stem cells, and the number of treatments will only increase. Cryo-Save has cryopreserved samples from over 70 countries on six continents, with ultra-modern processing and storage facilities in Belgium, Germany, Dubai and South Africa.
Evi Mattil, Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Executive Officer a/i
i. How common are the "common" neurologic disorders? D. Hirtz, MD, D. J. Thurman, MD, MPH, K. Gwinn-Hardy, MD, M. Mohamed, MPH, A. R. Chaudhuri, PhD and R. Zalutsky, PhD. Neurology 2007;68:326-337
iii. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT 01072370
SOURCE Cryo-Save Group N.V.