• CorCell (Philadelphia) a business of Cord Blood America (Los Angeles) company, said that cord blood collected and stored by one of its private, family customers was used in what is believed to be the first autologous cord blood transplant for childhood leukemia anywhere in the world. Autologous cord blood is collected from a baby’s umbilical cord and used specifically for that child. CorCell’s medical director called it a “critical” achievement because it was not thought possible. The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics released the report, “First Report of Autologous Cord Blood Transplantation in the Treatment of a Child with Leukemia,” in Pediatrics, in its Jan. 3 issue. In this first known worldwide reported case, a 3-year-old girl with leukemia was transplanted with her own stored umbilical cord blood after developing isolated central nervous system relapse. This occurred 10-months after diagnosis while she was receiving chemotherapy. More than two years after transplantation with her own cord blood she is still free of leukemia at age 6.

• CryoCath Technologies (Montreal), which focuses on cryotherapy products to treat cardiovascular disease, reported that the first patients have been treated with SurgiFrost XL, a new minimally invasive surgical probe for treating cardiac arrhythmias which the FDA provided 510(k) clearance for in late 2006. It also received CE mark approval during this same time period. The first two patients were treated prior to the end of December 2006 by Dr. Gary Dworkin from Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater, Florida and Dr. Saqib Masroor. Masroor treated a patient with intermittent atrial fibrillation and aortic valve disease. Dr. Dworkin treated a patient with eight years of permanent, symptomatic lone atrial fibrillation. Both patients underwent a standard sternotomy and a complete Cox Maze III lesion set utilizing an epicardially applied SurgiFrost XL without cardiopulmonary bypass support. Both patients left the operating room in sinus rhythm and are doing well, the company said.

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