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Double Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant – Nebraska Medicine – jj

Double Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant – Nebraska Medicine

The leukemia was back. “J-Money” Cruz of Sioux City, Iowa needed a stem cell transplant. When none of his nine siblings were a match, the 13-year-old’s medical team began searching the national donor registry.

“Of all the donors across the world, there wasn’t a good match there,” says oncologist/hematologist Sachit Patel, MD, who decided to try something that’s never been done at Nebraska Medicine – a double umbilical cord blood transplant.

“It’s blood from the cord which makes it easy to obtain, abundant and it’s safe. All those ethical questions which come up are off the table when it comes to cord blood,” says Dr. Patel, who trained in umbilical cord blood transplants at Duke University.

Because Cruz is older, two unrelated umbilical cords were needed instead of one.

“There simply aren’t enough stem cells with one donor,” explains Dr. Patel. “We needed to find cords from two different deliveries.”

Considered a high-risk procedure, Cruz received the double umbilical cord blood transplant on Nov. 22 in the Oncology Hematology Special Care Unit (OHSCU). Two weeks after the transplant, Cruz was already feeling better.

“Our ultimate goal is that Joseph’s leukemia will never come back,” Dr. Patel says. “This is an exciting time for our program.”

To schedule an appointment with a Nebraska Medicine cancer specialist, call 800.922.0000.


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