Australian sports teams consider storing players' stem cells

Top Australian sports clubs are considering storing their players' stem cells in order to help them recover faster from injury, a report said Thursday.

Australian sports teams consider storing players' stem cells
The technology is being developed by a Melbourne-based company, Mesoblast, which said a system could be in place next year if teams back it, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Sports interested in the idea include rugby union, rugby league, soccer and Australia's own code of football, known as Australian Rules Football, the newspaper said.

Mesoblast chief medical officer Silviu Itescu was quoted saying the company had been in talks with clubs from various codes of football. The technology would cost around 20,000 dollars (16,500 US) per player.

It is an option where the clubs can afford adequate insurance policies to cover the costs, Itescu told the newspaper.

Stem cells would be taken from bone marrow in the player's spine in a half-hour procedure under a local anaesthetic and then grown in a laboratory for six weeks.

Then they would be stored in a cell bank, ready to be transplanted should injury occur.

Stem cells are cells that can develop into various types of body tissues and are a major focus of current medical research, potentially revolutionising transplants and other areas of surgery.

The hope is that cells taken from the patient's own body would not face rejection by the immune system, which can happen with transplants from other people.

Last Mod: 06 Eylül 2007, 14:41
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