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Can Cord Blood Cure Sickle Cell?

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: Sickle Cell is a red blood cell disease that has no widely available cure.
Air Date: 2/17/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Joel Weinthal, MD & Kebreon Pratt
WeinthalMD MCDJoel Weinthal, M.D., specializes in pediatric hematology/oncology and stem cell transplantation. He is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Pediatrics in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Weinthal is the director of the Stem Cell Transplant and medical director of the Apheresis Program at Medical City Hospital in Dallas. His research interests include cord blood transplantation, leukemia therapy, and supportive care for pediatric oncology patients.
Can Cord Blood Cure Sickle Cell?
Sickle cell disease is a condition that changes normal, round red blood cells into cells that are shaped like half moons. Sickle cells move through your blood stream and have a higher risk getting stuck on blood vessels, which can stop oxygen from getting through.

Sickle cell is an inherited disease that causes lifelong health problems such as horrible pain and anemia. Antibiotics and immunizations are available to help maintain pain but there is no widely available cure other than stem cell donation, which can be very hard to find a direct match.

What about Cord Blood?

Chloe Pratt, a five-year-old girl was born with sickle cell. Chloe was fortunate and received a stem cell donation taken from the umbilical cord blood of her brother. Chloe is now a healthy and active child.

Pediatric hematology and oncology and stem cell transplant specialist, Joel Weinthal, MD, and Father of Chloe Pratt, Kebreon Pratt, share Chloe's story,  as well as how cord blood helped Chloe become a healthier child and if cord blood can someday cure sickle cell disease.