Page URL:

Cord blood used to treat infant with SCID

15 November 2010
Appeared in BioNews 584

Doctors from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) have used stem cells from donated cord blood to treat a child with a rare genetic disorder. Eleven-month old Imtiyaz Ahmed had severe combined immuno-deficiency (SCID), also called 'bubble boy syndrome', a condition where the body does not make enough white blood cells - key components of the immune system - that makes individuals very vulnerable to infections. Imtiyaz's brother Mirza also had the condition, and died of an infection because his body was unable to fight it. However, doctors from GOSH were able to successfully treat Imtiyaz by using stem cells collected from cord blood.

There are a number of different forms of this inherited genetic condition. One of the most common is an X chromosome linked version, but there are also autosomal recessive variants, and those caused by spontaneous mutations. In this family, the condition was the result of an autosomal recessive inheritance. This meant that Imtiyaz inherited a faulty gene from both parents. Families affected in this way therefore have a one in four chance of having a child with this condition.

Doctors previously used bone marrow transplants to treat children with SCID, but are now using stem cells from cord blood, because they offer a number of advantages. Cord blood is particularly useful, because it is a comparatively rich source of stem cells. The NHS set up a cord blood blank in 1996, in order to process and supply cord blood, however only a small number of hospitals - all located in the South East of England - have trained staff who are able to collect this material.

Mrs Ahmed told the Evening Standard: 'I'm very grateful to the mother who donated her baby's cord so my child has the chance to be the normal fun-loving child he deserves to be'.

Baby with ‘bubble boy’ syndrome saved by mystery cord blood donor
London Evening Standard |  11 November 2010
NHS Cord Blood Bank
NHS Blood and Transplant |  27 October 2021
27 July 2015 - by Daniel Malynn 
In Great Ormond Street, we meet three families all facing rare genetic immune diseases. The documentary witnesses the utter anguish the families go through and the heartbreaking decisions parents have to make...
30 August 2011 - by Rosemary Paxman 
Over a dozen children with 'boy in bubble' syndrome are alive and well, with functioning immune systems, nine years after undergoing gene therapy to correct their disorder, researchers report....
28 March 2011 - by Chris Chatterton 
Scientists from Scotland have been awarded an extra £2.5 million from the Scottish Funding Council to continue their work into the development of methods to create red blood cells (RBCs) from stem cells....
2 February 2009 - by Dr Megan Allyse 
Researchers in Italy and Israel have announced that they have successfully used gene therapy to treat ten children who suffer from a rare form of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) called ADA-SCID. The trial marks one of the first successful uses of gene therapy since past trials of...
27 April 2006 - by BioNews 
Replacement genes used to treat an inherited immune disorder could trigger cancer, new research carried out on rodents suggests. The study, published in the journal Nature, shows that treating mice with a normal copy of the gene defective in X-linked severe combined immune deficiency (X-SCID) results in cancer of the...
13 March 2005 - by BioNews 
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for Children and the Institute of Child Health have successfully treated a second disease using pioneering gene therapy treatment. The four-year old boy who received the therapy was affected by ada-SCID, a life-threatening immune deficiency condition. He is now attending pre-school and living...
21 July 2003 - by BioNews 
A second patient in a gene therapy trial taking place at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London has been successfully treated, his parents and doctors announced last week. Christopher Reid, now two years old, received gene therapy for the immune system disorder X-linked severe combined immune deficiency (X-SCID) in December...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.