BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Boy's bone marrow operation fails
Luke Hartley
The failure of Luke's transplant has devastated the family
The youngest of four brothers diagnosed with a rare potentially fatal illness has been told a life-saving bone marrow transplant has failed.

Luke Hartley, seven, and his brothers Daniel, 11, Nathan, 13, and Joshua, 15, from Romsey, Hampshire, were all born with the genetic disorder, XLP.

The condition is often fatal and the only cure is a bone marrow transplant.

Their father, David, said the failure of Luke's operation was "devastating" but his son was "very well indeed".

"He is full of energy and life and it is hoped that he will be home this Saturday."

Immune system attacked

"He will then need to go through the bone marrow recovery process that our other three brave sons have gone through, including semi-isolation at home but it is expected that his old immune system will come back quickly," Mr Hartley said.

He added that Luke's consultant had said there was still a chance that some of the donor cells could emerge although it was "highly unlikely". Luke received marrow from his brother, Nathan, and another donor.

All the siblings were diagnosed in November 2003 with XLP - X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome, or Duncan's Syndrome - which attacks the immune system.

Their parents were told their sons were unlikely to reach their teenage years without a bone marrow transplant.

Joshua had his operation in 2004 after his mother was found to be a match.

Nathan and Daniel found donors after thousands responded to a massive campaign by the Anthony Nolan Trust.

XLP is one of the world's rarest fatal genetic disorders and is believed to affecting only about 100 families.

Brother has bone marrow operation
06 Jun 07 |  Hampshire
Transplant boy preparing for op
24 May 07 |  Hampshire
Transplant brother marks birthday
22 Jan 05 |  Hampshire
Donor success for second brother
30 Nov 04 |  Hampshire
Second brother set for transplant
22 Sep 04 |  Hampshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific