Oregon Girl Receives One of the First Stem Cell Transplants for Arthritis

11/23/99    Portland, Ore.

Ten-year-old Mollie Hauck received a bone marrow transplant today at Oregon Health Sciences University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital to treat her severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

"We¹re thrilled that we could offer this to Mollie and are optimistic that the transplant will help control her disease that was otherwise uncontrollable," said Ted Moore, M.D., director of Doernbecher¹s Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program. "The transplant today went smoothly and Mollie is doing great."

Last August, physicians from Mollie's health plan, Kaiser Permanente, and from Doernbecher approved the procedure, making Mollie one of the first patients in the United States OK¹d for a stem cell transplant to treat an autoimmune disease. Several children in the Netherlands, whose own stem cells were transplanted into them after doctors shut down their immune systems with radiation and chemotherapy, have reportedly had a remission in their arthritic symptoms.

Mollie is expected to remain in the hospital for about four to six weeks while her bone marrow grows back. She will be followed for the next several months to assess the impact of this therapy on her disease.

Mollie, who lives in Canby with her parents, two sisters and a brother, is doing well and is in great spirits.