We present the case of a 3-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who developed isolated central nervous system relapse while receiving chemotherapy 10 months after diagnosis. The child achieved a second remission on retreatment with systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy. She then underwent myeloablative chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by infusion of her own umbilical cord blood, which the parents had saved after her delivery. She is now doing well and is in complete remission 20 months after cord blood transplantation. In this first report of autologous cord blood transplantation for treatment of childhood leukemia, we discuss the safety and feasibility of this procedure as well as some of the uncertainties surrounding autologous cord blood collection and usage.

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