BY EMILY WILLIAMS
Over the next two years, The Lions Cord Blood Foundation will provide Monash Children’s Hospital in Victoria with $50,000 for neo-natal cell therapy research.
Announced in August, the grant will go towards improving outcomes for vulnerable babies by utilising the “reparative, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative potential of cell therapies”.
Cord blood is the blood that is found in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. As a rich and diverse source of stem cells, this blood can be used for children and adults requiring bone marrow transplants.
The Lions Cord Blood Foundation was established in 1996 by Laurie Denton, a member of the Lions Club of Waverly in V5 and has raised more than $2.3 million for the Fight Cancer Foundation.
Chairperson of the Foundation, Ron Tregear, says this research is “particularly rewarding”.
“It will involve bringing extremely premature babies into the world potentially in better health than they may have otherwise been,” he said.
Associate Professor Atul Mahlotra says he is grateful to the Foundation.
“This will directly feed into our cell therapies clinical trial pipeline including one study currently recruiting extremely preterm babies to investigate feasibility and safety of autologous cord blood cell therapy,” he said.
In Australia, cord blood has been used to treat over 80 conditions, including cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.
You can learn more about The Lions Cord Blood Foundation here.