New hope for spina bifida patients

The UC Davis Fetal Care and Treatment Center also includes an extensive research program. For instance, a spina bifida initiative led by renowned fetal surgeon Diana Farmer, our Children’s Hospital surgeon-in-chief and chair of UC Davis Health’s Department of Surgery, has demonstrated that prenatal surgery combined with stem cells helps canine patients with the disorder to walk without noticeable disability. In fall 2018 the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded an additional grant of $5.6 million that will enable the UC Davis team to perform final testing and preparations needed for FDA approval to start a human clinical trial.

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“He’s doing really well now. His leg mobility is great. He’s kicking and wiggling like crazy. He’s right on track with developmental milestones for his adjusted age…I would tell anyone who is cleared for fetal surgery that they should do it. I was also really impressed with the labor and delivery staff here, the NICU staff, the surgeons. I never felt that I wasn’t being well taken care of.” – Chloe MacCullough, on son Remington who was diagnosed with spinda bifida and received surgery in utero at the UC Davis Fetal Care and Treatment Center.