New leukemia treatment promises astounding results, few side-effects: study

(Aaron Derfel/ Montreal Gazette) — A team of researchers at the Université de Montréal has shown in a new study that an experimental treatment for acute leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is not only safe but has produced astounding results with almost no side-effects.

In the study, 22 patients at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital were given a new type of umbilical cord-blood transplant following chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The usual cord-blood transplant is fraught with risk, with about 35 per cent of patients dying.

For the clinical trial, the researchers did something different to the cord blood, boosting it with a molecule, UM171, named in honour of U de M, where it was invented. The molecule worked its magic, greatly expanding the number of stem cells in the cord blood, and to the pleasant surprise of the researchers, increasing the number of two types of immune cells. (…)

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