Newborn donates stem cells to his thalassemic sister

29, Mar 2016

An Advanced IVF Technology Helps an Emirati Family in Abu Dhabi Deliver an HLA matched Baby to be a Bone Marrow Donor to His Sister

Abu Dhabi physicians successfully applied an advanced treatment to an Emirati family who cannot have children due to some medical issues, and were helped by using the In Vitro Fertilization “IVF” technique. The conceived baby was HLA matched to his sister, who’s suffering from Thalassemia and requires frequent blood transfusions; and is currently under treatment using stem cells and bone marrow from her young brother.

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, CEO & Managing Director, United Eastern Medical Services that owns HealthPlus network of specialty centers, said “this advanced treatment unlocks new doors to the treatment of many genetic diseases, noting that Healthplus Fertility Center in Abu Dhabi, with its highly competent and well-experienced medical staff and advanced technologies, offers technologies for conducting accurate tests on embryos during the early days of the prenatal development and before placing it back to the mother’s uterus, which makes choosing healthy embryos possible, and thus reducing chances of genetic disorders. It also helps withidentifying the embryos that are HLA matched to their siblings in order to treat them from different diseases using stem cells.”

Dr. Walid Sayed, Consultant &Medical Director of HealthPlus Fertility Center, and his team who successfully performed the treatment, explained that the couple came to HealthPlus Fertility Center in order to help them with their infertility problem. After performing the required tests and assessing the situation, the physicians decided to perform an “IVF” procedure, taking into consideration that the couple has a daughter who suffers from Thalassemia, as they got married years ago before the pre-marriage testing was mandatory.

“The doctors agreed with the couple to help them conceive a baby using the IVF technique, and to conceive a healthy baby who doesn’t suffer from Thalassemia and is HLA matched to his diseased sister, so that stem cells would be taken from the placenta of the newborn and used to cure his sister from Thalassemia. This treatment approach and technology is considered globally advanced and proven to be successful,” Dr. Walid added.

Dr. Walid Sayed added, “In the first attempt, and after the tests were performed in the lab on a cell from the embryo three days after the fertilization procedure, the tests showed that the embryo’s tissues were not identical to his sisters, and so the couple and the doctors decided not to return the embryo into the mother’s uterus and to repeat the “IVF” procedure again after few months.”

He also said that in the second time the “IVF” procedure was performed, several embryos were produced for the couple, and after performing the tissues’ tests, the doctors found that one of the embryos’ tissues were identical to the sister’s, who is 3 years old and suffers from Thalassemia. Thus, the embryo was returned to the mother’s uterus and she resumed her pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby.

“The Emirati little girl is getting treated at one of the globally advanced medical centers in the United States with the use of stem cells and bone marrow taken from her newborn brother, and the initial results are promising,” he further added.

Dr. Walid Sayed stated that advanced IVF techniques have seen a quantum leap towards increasing success rates, in addition to performing more tests on the embryos’ cells within the early days of the prenatal development in order to eliminate any kind of genetic diseases and to ensure the birth of healthy babies.



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