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UTHealth studies cord blood stem cells for pediatric traumatic brain injury
Date:1/5/2011

HOUSTON (Jan. 5, 2010) The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has begun enrollment for the first Phase I safety study approved by the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the use of a child's own umbilical cord blood stem cells for traumatic brain injury in children. The study is being performed in conjunction with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, UTHealth's primary children's teaching hospital.

The innovative study, which builds on UTHealth's growing portfolio of research using stem cell-based therapies for neurological damage, is led by principal investigator Charles S. Cox, the Children's Fund Distinguished Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, part of UTHealth, and director of the pediatric trauma program at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. It will enroll 10 children ages 18 months to 17 years who have umbilical cord blood banked with Cord Blood Registry (CBR) and have suffered moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The study is not designed for acute care and will only enroll participants within 6-18 months of their injury.

Although the neurologic outcome for nearly all types of brain injury (with the exception of abuse) is better for children than adults, trauma is the leading cause of death in children, and the majority of the deaths are attributed to head injury.

"Using cord blood is a critical link in the next step of UTHealth's programmatic approach to researching stem cell therapies for brain injury," Cox said. "Implementing this novel therapy has required strong partnerships with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and the CBR Center for Regenerative Medicine, and is possible through a critical infrastructure investment by the state of Texas and private philanthropy."

To enroll in the study, parents or caregivers of patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury should contact CBR
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Contact: Deborah Mann Lake
deborah.m.lake@uth.tmc.edu
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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