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Researchers Discover New Molecule That Allows Increase In Stem Cell Transplants

Update Date: Sep 19, 2014 10:16 AM EDT

Researchers have discovered a new and first of its kind molecule that allows for the multiplication of stem cells in a unit of cord blood, according to a new study. 

According to researchers, findings of the study has the potential to multiply by 10 the number of cord blood units available for a transplant in humans. It would also considerably reduce the complications associated with stem cell transplantation. 

Findings of the study will be particularly useful for non-Caucasian patients for who compatible donors are difficult to identify, the press release added. 

"This new molecule, combined with the new bioreactor technology, will allow thousands of patients around the world access to a safer stem cell transplant. Considering that many patients currently cannot benefit from a stem cell transplant for lack of matching donors, this discovery looks to be highly promising for the treatment of various types of cancer," said Dr. Guy Sauvageau, in the press release. 

The Centre of Excellence for Cellular Therapy at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital will serve as production unit for these stem cells, and grafts will then be distributed to patients in Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver for this first Canadian clinical study, the press release mentioned. 

"These extraordinary advances result from the efforts of a remarkable team that includes extremely gifted students and postdoctoral investigators working in the IRIC laboratories," added Dr. Guy Sauvageau. "Among them, the first authors of this publication: Iman Farès, doctoral student, and Jalila Chagraoui, research officer, along with the professionals in IRIC's medical chemistry core facility under the direction of Anne Marinier, who optimized the therapeutic properties of this new molecule."

The study has been published in the journal Science

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