Stem cell surgery leads cancer fight | Shanghai Daily

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August 9, 2018

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Stem cell surgery leads cancer fight

The nation’s first stem cell hospital, and a new branch of Shanghai’s Tongren Hospital, opened in Bo’ao, Hainan Province.

The newly established facility will boost the nation’s capability of performing more stem cell transplants and the new hospital is expected to complete over 1,000 stem cell transplants every year.

According to the national health authority, there are 5 million people with leukemia and other blood diseases, which kills on average one patient every nine minutes. Among leukemia patients, over 60 percent of those affected are children, aged between 2 and 7 years old.

There are 40,000 new leukemia patients every year and over 50 percent of them are children. Leukemia has become a child cancer with the highest incidence and mortality.

Yet stem cell transplants are an effective cure for blood and immunity diseases.

They have been approved by the food and drug administration in many countries. It is the only cure for certain diseases such as thalassemia.

Bone marrow, peripheral blood and umbilical cord blood are the three sources of stem cell, and transplant technology has been very mature in clinical practice. Patients can have long-term survival prospects after a successful stem cell transplant.

But the transplant rate in China is still low, because of the difficulty in finding a matched donor, inadequate local medical facilities and the huge medical cost involved.

Shanghai has been leading stem cell transplants in China. The Shanghai-based China Stem Cell Group has performed over 3,500 operations with a 58.9 percent success rate of five-year survival. Shanghai Children’s Medical Center is the largest stem cell transplant center for children.

The center has fulfilled 1,217 stem cell transplants since 2000, including 1, 011 transplants using stem cell from donors.

The five-year survival rate for patients using donated stem cells has been recorded at 65 percent.


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