A clinical trial currently awaiting approval will mean that children suffering from cerebral palsy like Zac and Maia won’t have to travel to the United States for treatment with their own cord blood.
As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, researchers at Melbourne’s Monash Medical Centre are currently awaiting approval to start a clinical trial to offer cord blood treatment for cerebral palsy to children from Australia and New Zealand with the intent of proving that umbilical cord blood can cure and relieve the symptoms of cerebral palsy. This follows on from Professor Kurtzberg’s work, which whilst anecdotally very successful, published no scientific data, so the Australian study aims to create proof.
The treatment to reinfuse cord blood stem cells into children with cerebral palsy was pioneered by Professor Joanna Kurtzberg of North Carolina’s Duke University and has helped over 250 children over the last 5 years. New Zealander Maia Friedlander received treatment in 2008 and is now living a full life free from many of the symptoms her brain injury resulting from oxygen deprivation at birth left her with. Another Kiwi child has successfully received treatment and a third is currently seeking treatment.