Bone Cancer and Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Doctors in St. Louis, Missouri, diagnosed a young girl with osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, in her leg weeks before her 9th birthday. As part of her treatment, she received fourteen months of effective chemotherapy, which eradicated over 96% of the cancer cells. However, while the chemotherapy successfully targeted the cancer cells, it also disrupted the normal production of new blood cells in her body, leading to a syndrome called myelodysplasia or 'pre-leukemia.

After four years of ongoing therapy, the girl became a candidate for transplantation with cord blood stem cells. With an 80% chance of curing myelodysplastic syndrome using stem cells from cord blood, the 14-year-old underwent a successful transplant that treated her debilitating condition. The transplant effectively reversed the combined life-threatening effects of cancer and leukemia, and 100 days after the procedure, she resumed leading a normal life.