Obituaries

Edward Arthur Boyse

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39325.496030.BE (Published 06 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:518
  1. Caroline Richmond

    Immunologist who realised that cord blood stem cells could be used for lifesaving transplants and discovered the subtypes of T cells

    Around the globe at least a 100 000 children born with fatal inherited blood diseases have had their lives saved by a transplant of placental blood stem cells. They owe this to Ted Boyse, who in 1989 realised that every placenta thrown in the incinerator is rich in blood stem cells that might be useful for transplantation. He then painstakingly extracted and froze, for differing lengths of time, stem cells from over 100 placentas. He found that the cells survived long periods of freezing. As it was well known that cancer chemotherapy was toxic to the haematopoietic cells of bone marrow, he postulated that children with such diseases could have their own stem cells destroyed and replaced with cord blood stem cells. With French and American collaborators, he participated in the first such transplant, in France. The patient, a child with Fanconi's anaemia, was …

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