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Science  05 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5808, pp. 23c
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5808.23c

A LASTING GIFT. During the final weeks of their 9-year-old daughter's life, Shayne and Angela Thomas asked Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to develop a cell line from her drug-resistant neuroblastoma. Now, barely 3 months after Christi's death, scientists are gearing up for studies with the cell line, which could one day help others battle this childhood cancer.

CREDIT: COURTESY OF THOMAS FAMILY

The Thomases, of Tiffin, Ohio, received a crash course in drug development as a string of clinical trials kept Christi (top) alive for almost 4 years. Going the extra mile to create a cell line, her father says, “is the price I will pay” to help other families. So minutes after Christi died on 19 September, doctors drew a large volume of blood and shipped it to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles lab of C. Patrick Reynolds. Last month, the Thomases learned that the cell line, aptly named FU_NB06, is a reality. It should be available to scientists later this month.

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