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Family's plea for treatment to be made available on the NHS - that could have saved young father's life

National charity Anthony Nolan is calling on the Government to intervene on behalf of cancer patients they say have been 'abandoned' by the NHS.

They're asking Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to overturn a decision stopping the health service from funding stem cell treatments if a previous transfusion has failed.

The procedure costs between £50,000 and £120,000 - yet without it one young family from Sussex say they have lost a father and a husband.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Lisa Hepburn.

  1. Tom Savvides

Cystic Fibrosis patient receives stem cell treatment

A young woman from Kent has become the first British Cystic Fibrosis patient to receive stem-cell treatment and she believes it will make a difference to her life. Roisin Kelleher O'Callaghan from Faversham flew to the Dominican Republic to have the procedure, which cost £35,000. The money was raised by family, friends and wellwishers. Now she's campaigning for the treatment to be available on the NHS. But Cystic Fibrosis experts here say it's untested and carries its own risks. Tom Savvides talks to Roisin and her mother Anntoinette Kelleher.


Stem cell breakthrough

Scientists at the University of Southampton have created a new method to generate bone cells which could lead to revolutionary bone repair therapies for people with bone fractures or those who need hip replacement surgery due to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

To generate bone cells for regenerative medicine and further medical research remains a significant challenge. However we have found that by harnessing surface technologies that allow the generation and ultimately scale up of human embryonic stem cells to skeletal cells, we can aid the tissue engineering process. This is very exciting.

Our research may offer a whole new approach to skeletal regenerative medicine. The use of nanotopographical patterns could enable new cell culture designs and could herald the development of new bone repair therapies as well as further human stem cell research.

– Professor Richard Oreffo, University of Southampton

This latest discovery expands on the close collaborative work previously undertaken by the University of Southampton and the University of Glasgow. In 2011 the team successfully used plastic with embossed nanopatterns to grow and spread adult stem cells while keeping their stem cell characteristics