Stem cell research offers new hope

May 14, 2014, 4 a.m.

STEM cell therapy is the great frontier of todays medical research.

STEM cell therapy is the great frontier of todays medical research.

While still in its infancy, stem cell technology has already moved from being a promising idea to delivering life-saving treatment for conditions such as leukaemia.

Last week about 70 people gathered at the Mid City Motel, Warrnambool, to hear about the advances from one of Australias leading researchers.

Stem cell researcher, Professor Graham Jenkin.

Professor Graham Jenkin, of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Monash University, is researching the use of stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood to treat babies at risk of developing cerebral palsy as the result of oxygen deprivation during birth.

The event was hosted by the Warrnambool branch of the Inner Wheel Club as part of a national fund-raising program by the organisation.

Professor Jenkin, deputy director of The Ritchie Centre, said treating infants deprived of oxygen with cord blood stem cells was showing promising results in preventing the brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy.

We are looking at treating infants within a 24-hour window after birth, Professor Jenkin said. We would be aiming for treatment after about six hours if possible, which is about as soon as the stem cells can be harvested.

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Stem cell research offers new hope

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