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Cancer Affected Children Benefit from Stem Cells, June 12, 2007

According to Singapore-based pediatric hematologist-Oncologist consultant Dr. Anselm Chi-wai Lee, stem cell transplant therapy has made the treatment of cancer affected children less complicated.

Dr. Anselm told a press conference over the weekend that "Children with leukemia or other cancers, as well as some severe inherited immunodeficiency diseases and blood disorders, may benefit from a transplant of hematopoietic stem cells commonly known as a bone marrow transplant. The term hematopoietic stem cell transplant acknowledges the fact that the stem cells that are necessary to regenerate blood and immune functions can now be obtained from peripheral or umbilical cord blood as well as from bone marrow."

Claiming to be the first person who used a person’s own umbilical cord cells and bone marrow cells to successfully treat leukemia, Dr. Anselm is an expert on blood disease and cancer in children.

Dr. Lee endorsed stem cell therapy as the promising hope for the future which can be a cure of leukemia and other cancer related diseases. Lee is a member of many respected medical societies such as the pediatric society of Hong-Kong and the International Society of pediatric oncology. In 1990, he also was honored with the Croucher Foundation Fellowship.

Dr. Anselm said "one in every 500 children will develop cancer before their 18th birthday." However, with effective treatment, 70 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer can be cured,” he added.

The typical candidates for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) are children with recently diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (except acute promyleocytic leukemia) and high risk or recurrent acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

High dose chemotherapy followed by autologous HSCT is now a frequent treatment for children with recurrent or advanced solid tumors and stage four neuroblastomas.

Other candidates for allogeneic HSCT included children with severe hematological disease including, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, congenital bone marrow failure syndrome, primary immunodeficiency, aplastic anemia, and thalassemia sickle cell anemia.

Dr. Anselm said that, “cancer treatment can be done with best combination of chemotherapy, surgery, radio therapy and biological agents. Other aspects are also considered such as pain management, nutritional management, play therapy as well as parent empowering therapy.”

"We can beat cancer with contemporary medicines," concluded Dr. Anselm.

International patient assistance centers have been established in Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ludhiana, and Punjab, in order to enable Indian patients to access the stem cell therapy and other medical services of Parkway Health Group.


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