United States

Freezer malfunction destroys stems cells of child cancer patients

Stem cells harvested from the blood of 56 Los Angeles-area child cancer patients were lost when the hospital freezer where they were stored malfunctioned, administrators said Wednesday. The stem cells were harvested from patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) before they underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They were put in long-term storage in case their cancer ever returned. “One of the freezer’s sensors failed and the notification process…failed and so we lost those specimens,” said Dr. James Stein, CHLA’s Chief Medical Officer. All but one patient had gone through initial therapy, the Los Angeles Times reported. The loss of stem cells hasn’t jeopardized any of the children’s health, the hos ...