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Patients and Outcomes

+ Utilization & Outcomes
+ Patients' Stories
   - Keone Penn
   - Gayle Serls
   - Katherine Marguerite Sutter
   - Robert Lopez-Lengowski
   - Mitch Santana
   - Stephen R. Sprague
   - Spencer Barsh
   - Jacyln Albanese
   - Anthony Dones
   - Heidi Tweten
   - Erik Haines


Mitch Santana

Mitch Santana was not yet two years old, extremely ill with infantile acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Mitch had no brothers or sisters with matching bone marrow. So Mitch, his family and doctors anxiously waited for someone, somewhere, who matched Mitch's tissue types exactly and was willing to undergo the somewhat daunting process of having his or her bone marrow harvested surgically. But there were no matched unrelated donors in any registry worldwide.

Mitch had been diagnosed on October 1, 1992, when he was 9 ½ months old. He was in the middle of intensive treatment when he relapsed six months later. Mitch's doctors treated him again with intensive chemotherapy to get him back in remission, but they told his family that he would again relapse. With no related marrow donor, they had only two options: an unrelated cord blood transplant or an autologous transplant. On September 13, 1993, Mitch got a transplant at Duke University with a cord blood unit from the NCBP. On September 12, his brother, Brad, had turned nine years old. As his mother, Minnie Santana says: "Now Mitch and his brother have back-to-back birthdays. Mitch has two birthdays, his transplant day and the day he was born."

Mitch came home from the hospital right before he turned two years old. Now 16 years after his transplant, he is considered cured and is doing great. Mitch is now a happy, healthy young adolescent.


Mitch Santana

In 1993, Mitch Santana became the second person ever to be treated by a transplant of cord blood stem cells from an anonymous, unrelated donor. Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg of Duke Medical Center performed Mitch's transplant when he was less than two years old to treat infantile acute lymphocytic leukemia. Mitch is considered cured of his leukemia and is the longest survivor in the world of an unrelated cord blood transplant.