Suzanne Penney battled breast cancer but was then diagnosed with leukemia. The leukemia, she said to NBC 7/39, was the result of her cancer treatments. It turns out the medicine that cured her made her sick again. About 1 percent of women develop leukemia after aggressive treatments of chemotherapy, according to health experts.
Penney decided to use an injection of healthy blood cells from umbilical cord to help her battle the leukemia.
"When information about stem cells first came out I was against it. I always thought, don't mess with Mother Nature, and there's going to be a bunch of cloned people walking around," she said.
Her leukemia is now in remission.
"It turns out that in the umbilical cord blood there are a large number of potent stem cells that give rise to bone marrow," said Dr. Edward Ball (pictured), Director and Chief of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division and Program. Dr. Ball has pursued the development of new therapies for patients with cancer throughout his career and has been issued patents on four of his treatment inventions. His current clinical trial interests are focused on all aspects of bone marrow transplantation and antibody-mediated therapies for acute myeloid leukemia.
Dr. Ball is also a professor of Medicine, UCSD. He came to UCSD in 1998 after 7 years as Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and 7 years as Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (N.H.).
Illustration: University of California, San Diego, Medical Center.
NBC San Diego w/video (06/11/08)
Fox News (06/13/08)