Stem Cell Transplantation: Umbilical Cord
Umbilical cord blood transplant is desirable and alternative therapeutic treatment with long term benefits. Umbilical cord blood transplantation has been increasingly used over the past years for both malignant and non-malignant hematologic and other diseases as an alternative to mismatched-related or matched-unrelated bone marrow or peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It has unique advantages of easy procurement, absence of risk to donors, low risk of transmitting infections, immediate availability, greater tolerance of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) disparity, and lower incidence of inducing severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The first transplantation was performed in 1988, it is estimated that approximately 4,000 patients, with malignant and non-malignant diseases, were transplanted withcord blood transplantation. Comparing to bone marrow transplants, cord blood's collection is easier and safer. Umbilical cord blood is an alternative hematopoietic stem cell source that can cause various diseases through transplantation. The expansion of umbilical cord blood has led to the establishment of UCB quality standard by professional groups such as AABB (American Academy Of Blood Bank) & the foundation for accreditation of cellular therapy. One of the disadvantage of cord blood is its low cell content which limits cord blood transplantation to generally low weight recipients, such as children. Various alternatives have been used to overcome this limitation, including co-infusion of two partially HLA-matched cord blood units.