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A new molecule, the first of its kind, allows for the multiplication of stem cells in a unit of cord blood. Umbilical cord stem cells are used for transplants aimed at curing a number of blood-related diseases, including leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. For many patients this therapy comprises a treatment of last resort.

Directed by Dr. Guy Sauvageau, principal investigator at IRIC and haematologist at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, the research has the potential to multiply by 10 the number of cord blood units available for a transplant in humans. In addition, it will considerably reduce the complications associated with stem cell transplantation. And it will be particularly useful for non-Caucasian patients for whom compatible donors are difficult to identify.

Clinical trials must be performed and are commencing later this year. conclusive clinical results could revolutionize the treatment of leukemia and other blood-related illnesses. For more information click here.