Cord Blood Banking

In this article, we will discuss Cord Blood Banking (Introduction). So, let’s get started.

Cord Blood Banking (Introduction)

Umbilical cord blood can be used as a source of primitive hematopoietic stem and pluripotent progenitor cells in clinical application to reconstitute the hematopoietic system and/or to restore immunological function in vivo. It has been used successfully as an alternative to bone marrow or peripheral blood progenitor cells for transplantation purposes and developing into a new field of study in medicine for treating diseases. Cord blood is considered a treatment option in pediatric and adult patients with hematologic malignancies and disorders (leukemia, thalassemia, sickle cell disease, etc.), bone marrow failures, inherited metabolic disorders, immunological defects and other genetic diseases. Double umbilical cord blood grafts, that use cord blood units from two donors, mitigate cell dose limitations for larger children and adults with malignant disorders.

There is a continual need for suitable donors for one third of all patients in need of bone marrow transplants in which no available human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched donors are found. Thus, umbilical cord blood as single or double unit transplants, provide a potentially vast source of hematopoietic stem cells, and represent a valuable alternative for stem cell transplantation needs worldwide and with the added potential of decreased chronic graft versus host disease (GvHD) compared with bone marrow and peripheral
blood progenitor cell donors.

More than 25,000 allogeneic cord blood transplantations have been performed worldwide since the first cord blood transplantation in 1988 in a patient from Paris, France with Fanconi anemia using an identical HLA matched sibling. The results, to date, are encouraging and appear at least comparable to bone marrow or peripheral blood progenitor
cells as the donor source for transplants. Later, Rubenstein and others were the first to establish an unrelated cord blood bank from voluntary donors and then used the
blood units from the bank for unrelated cord blood transplantation. These events further emphasize the importance of umbilical cord blood banking for transplantation in the medical field.

Over 400.000 cord blood units are now stored for use in more than 100 quality controlled public international cord blood banks. Stored cord blood samples have been used for transplants in both children and adults having malignant or non-malignant diseases. To further expand and develop this service. national and international networks, following agreed upon standards and protocols for collection, processing and handling of stored blood, have culminated in establishing registries and for accreditation practices. In 1998, the foundation NETCORD was developed to establish an international registry for cord blood banks and procedures with standards for the safe exchange and clinical use of banked cord blood. Approximately one-half of United States cord blood banks have been certified following standards and accreditation procedures by the AABB (formerly
American Association of Blood Banks). Furthermore, the NetCord-Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) was established and led to intemational standards for accreditation in 2000 of cord blood collection, processing, testing, banking, selection and later published in 2008. There are now two international registries: NETCORD, which lists cord blood units only and Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide which lists both bone marrow and cord blood donors. EuroCord and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research
(CIBMTR) provide extensive analytical expertise in evaluating efficacy and outcomes.

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