An Australian toddler is the youngest person in the world to receive an infusion of her own umbilical cord blood in the hope of preventing diabetes.
Since her birth, doctors have routinely tested Lucy’s blood for an antibody indicating she was on the path to develop type-1 diabetes. When her sister Ava (now 7) was a toddler, she developed the condition – increasing the odds that Lucy would too.
So when Lucy tested positive for the antibody she was given an infusion of her own cord blood at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where Professor Maria Craig is running this ground-breaking trial.
“We’re using the cord blood to switch off the immune process that has already commenced in Lucy and set her on the pathway to type-1 diabetes,” Prof Craig said.
“We believe the right strategy is to get in very early at this young age, when we have the greatest chance of success at resetting her immune system.”
Cord blood is rich in important and unique immune cells known as regulatory T-cells and stem cells that can be used to treat diseases.
Professor Maria Craig is interested in recruiting more babies for the ground-breaking trial in Sydney.
Email [email protected] if you’d like more information about the trial.