The history of stem cell treatment dates back to the first successful bone marrow transplant in 1956 between a related donor and recipient. Performed by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas in NY, the patient, who had Leukemia is treated with healthy bone marrow from an identical twin.
First bone marrow transplant for non-cancer treatment. Dr. Robert Good uses a bone marrow transplant to treat an eight-year-old boy with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome (SCID).
First umbilical cord blood transplant in the world for Leukemia was performed by Dr. John E. Wagner, Scientific Director of Clinical Research of the Blood and Marrow Institute
The use of mobilized peripheral blood and umbilical cord blood has been gradually replacing bone marrow as a stem cell source due to the painless collection of cells, youngest adult stem cells available and pluripotentcy.
Because umbilical cord stem cells have not yet developed the features that can be recognized and attacked by the recipient’s immune system, these stem cell transplants are less prone to rejection than bone marrow. Also, because umbilical cord blood lacks well-developed immune cells, there is less chance that the transplated cells will attack the recipient’s body.