Parents See Success in Stem Cell Treatment

Filed in ScienceTags: Stem Cells

From the Cape Cod Times [emphasis added]:

Doctors at Nanshan Hospital in Shenzhen, China, gave Jonathan five injections of 10 million umbilical cord stem cells each into his spinal column to try to trigger a healing process in his damaged brain cells. He has a condition known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HE, from a near-drowning in the family pool 11 years ago. As a result, he is unable to walk, talk or see anything beyond shadows.

Raylove, a West Barnstable acupuncturist, and Tonelli, a family therapist, heard about Nanshan Hospital's stem cell program through an Internet network of parents of children with brain damage. The center was founded by the Beike Biotechnology Co. and is located across the border from Hong Kong.

According to the Beike Web site, Nanshan doctors have focused on stem cell research since 1999 and have treated more than 500 patients, including those suffering from ALS, brain trauma and cerebral palsy.

Setting aside the issue of seeking treatments administered outside of regulatory control (which I don't advocate, but also certainly don't condemn, either - especially in cases like this one), here we see cord blood being used in humans, to treat conditions for which ESC research is touted as the Great Hope.

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3 Responses to “Parents See Success in Stem Cell Treatment”
  1. Jon says:

    Hello, just wanted to say I am American and run a web site with many patient experiences from those who were treated with umbilical cord stem cells. I was at the hospital when Jonathan was getting treatment. In China, the treatment is not outside of regulations. There are regulatory bodies in China that are quite strict and at this point it is allowed to treat patients with umbilical cord stem cells.

    You can see some other examples and find the e-mail addresses of Americans and other patients who will also tell you that their treatments went fine at http://www.stemcellschina.com

    – Jon

  2. cb says:

    Thanks, Jon!

    Sorry for the confusion; by “outside of regulatory control”, I meant “outside of FDA control”.

    Regardless, even if the treatment were completely unregulated in China, I would still have no problem, personally, with anyone choosing to undergo the treatment.

    Thanks for the link; I’ll certainly check it out!

  3. Jon says:

    That is great. Obviously you need to be very careful when picking treatments outside of your country and there are a lot of hospitals in China that I would never go to for treatment of any kind. However, there are some hospitals that are helping both Chinese people and those that can’t get treatment in their own countries.

    The Beike group put out another news release, hope it is of interest. Please feel free to delete it if it is not appropriate to put here.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Different Stem Cell Treatments Both Produce Results for Two Similar Patients in China

    A Tale of Two Similar Spinal Cord Injury Patients

    Shenzhen, China ?- June 29th, 2006 — Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. announced the successful treatment of two similar spinal cord injury patients using two different procedures that involved umbilical cord stem cells. One method involved surgical transplantation of stem cells directly into the spinal cord, while the other patient received the stem cells without surgery. The announcement was made following a two month rehabilitation and evaluation period by physicians in the patients? native countries of the U.S.A. and Romania. Details can be found on the news website, http://www.stemcellschina.com.

    Treatments with umbilical cord blood stem cells have been performed for years for patients with leukemia and other diseases. However, the treatment of stroke patients and those with other neurological diseases with stem cells from human umbilical cords has become increasingly popular only recently. Today, these treatments are being taken forward by countries outside the United States, including China, as FDA approval takes longer.

    In the first half of April 2006, Beike provided umbilical cord stem cells for the treatment of Gerald Allen, a 27 year old American with an incomplete spinal cord injury at the c5-c6 disk level that occurred in 2002. Romanian citizen Razvan Iordache also suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury at the c5-c6 level in 1996. Gerry Allen underwent surgical implantation of umbilical cord stem cells during a two ? hour procedure at Beike, complimented by both intravenous injections and injections into the cerebral spinal cord fluid. Razvan Iordache had stem cell injections into his spinal cord fluid and an intravenous injection without the surgery. Due to national regulations neither patient could receive treatment in their own countries.

    Both patients had been doing rehabilitation for years before coming to China, with little to no improvement. Gerald Allen?s doctors in the United States had actually stopped prescribing rehabilitation. After the treatments, Gerald gained increased mobility in both his legs and arms, regained the sensation of hot and cold on his body, and he could even perspire below his neck again. When he returned to the United States, his doctor immediately prescribed rehabilitation again due to the progress and he was able to take steps backwards and just recently could take a step forward.

    Gerald Allen said, ?I was pretty skeptical before going for treatment but the guys at stemcellschina.com put me in touch with some other patients who had been treated by Beike, and that calmed my nerves. I am really happy that I went. Being able to grab things more easily or take steps backward does not sound like a big deal, but for me it is awesome. Sweating may also not sound like much, but I live in Florida and now I can go outside again during the day for more than ten minutes without passing out. The best thing is that two months out I am still improving and I am not going to quit until I can walk again.?

    Razvan Iordache re-gained sensation below his chest down to his legs and is now able to move his fingers and stomach muscles, and feet along with great improvement in bladder control. He said, ?It is a general boost in the quality of my life. I am most happy about being able to move my fingers and feet. I still have a long way to go but I am improving and my therapist has said that I have made more progress in three months than I have the last years.?

    (Page 2 ? Continued — Separate Stem-Cell Treatments Produce Excellent Results in China)

    Dr. Sean Hu, chairman of Beike, said, ?We are very happy for both of the patients and have put these cases out to the public to spread awareness that there are different procedures available when treating patients with umbilical cord stem cells. We will continue to publish these patients? progress through China Stem Cell News at http://www.stemcellschina.com. Thanks to this website, we at Beike and others in China like us can showcase the latest and best global stem cell treatments.?

    For more details on:

    Razvan Iordache see http://www.stemcellschina.com/content/view/176/103/

    Gerald Allen see http://www.stemcellschina.com/content/view/181/15/

    About Beike Shen Zhen Biotech Company Limited

    Beike is a leading bio-technology company founded with capital from Beijing University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Shenzhen City Hall. It is also supported with funds from the China State National Fund. The research and clinical work is a collaboration of Beijing University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China?s No. 3 Army Medical University, Zhongshan Medical University, Guiyang Medical College and Zhengzhou University.

    Contact:

    Dr. Sean Hu – Chairman

    Beike Biotech Co, Ltd.

    Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park

    +8613823501818

    [email protected]

    http://www.beikebiotech.com

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