Two Cords are Better than One
After a worldwide search failed to locate a bone marrow donor for Saul Richman, he wondered if he'd run out of options in his fight against acute myelogenous leukemia.
But he'd heard about the possibility of a transplant using blood from banked umbilical cords, and sought out Mark Juckett, MD, a hematologist/oncologist with the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Under Dr. Juckett's care, Richman received an infusion of stem cells from two umbilical cords, which provided the catalyst for replacing his immune system, and held his leukemia in check. Today the training manager's immune system is dominated by cells with the DNA of a single donor.
The Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant service at UW Hospital and Clinics is the state's only program offering double umbilical cord blood transplantation (DUCB) for adult patients like Richman who are candidates for bone marrow transplantation but lack suitable donors. The procedure is an option for leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes and immune system disorders.
The procedure offers some advantages over transplantation with other stem cell sources. Cord blood is readily available, and clinical studies suggest that patients who receive DUCB transplants have more treatable graft-versus-host disease, and less severity.
The UW Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant program has a reputation for exceptional patient care, according to Dr. Juckett. The UW Health program is a Center of Excellence for many insurance carriers and has earned recognition from the National Marrow Donor Program for excellent patient outcomes significantly above the national norm, he adds.
For more information about double umbilical cord blood (DUCB) transplantation, or to contact a transplant physician, call the Access Center at (800) 472-0111.