BioWorld International Correspondent
TEL AVIV, Israel - For the first time in Israel and the second in the world, a fetus was conceived and selected to cure a sibling with an inherited disorder.
The embryo was conceived by in vitro fertilization and screened in a U.S. center for genetic, blood and immunological matches with her older sibling, a 6-year-old boy suffering from Fanconi's anemia.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells from the healthy newborn baby girl were transfused into her sick brother who, 10 weeks after the transplant, appears to be thriving, said Gideon Rehavi, head of the hemato-oncology department at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer.
The hospital refused to publicize the case because it is "too early" to state that the procedure succeeded, but announced (following a leak to the local Hebrew press) that "the signs are good; the boy is not suffering from bleeding or a lack of red blood cells."