A medical breakthrough using adult stem cells shows promise for resolving blood conditions in preborn babies.
The latest development involves researchers in San Francisco whose work helped a preborn baby with a blood disorder.
Life Issues Institute President Brad Mattes tells OneNewsNow that a preborn baby was diagnosed with alpha thalassemia major, which causes life-threatening swelling and an enlarged heart. It's also a condition in which doctors often recommend abortion - but not this time.
"So what they did is gave her blood transfusions to get the swelling down," says Mattes, "and then with the last blood transfusion, they did an adult stem cell transfusion using the mother's adult stem cells."
The adult stem cells are taken from the mother's bone marrow and injected into the umbilical vein to the baby.
Four months later, the child was born and appears to doctors to be a healthy newborn.
The success could lead to adult stem cell treatment for babies with similar disorders.
"They're also looking at the possibility of treating for sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening genetic disorders," Mattes says. "So this is a breakthrough not for just this particular disease, or condition, but for a variety of genetic disorder-type conditions."