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Cell Transplant. 1995 Nov-Dec;4(6):547-69.

Sources of human hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation--a review.

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  • 1Leukaemia Research Fund Centre, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.


Transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells provides a means of replacing a defective hematopoietic system in patients with a wide range of malignant and nonmalignant disorders that affect the blood forming tissue. The same procedure has also allowed dose-escalation of standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the treatment of malignant disease of nonhematological origin. Unit recently, bone marrow has been the sole source of hematopoietic stem cells, but limitations of conventional bone marrow transplantation have stimulated a search for alternative sources and uses of stem cells. Fetal tissues (especially liver) are a recognized source of transplantable stem cells and offer the great advantage of reduced immunogenicity, potentially removing the problems of tissue type matching. Umbilical cord blood is also a rich source of stem cells and, although it contains alloreactive cells, it is readily available without special ethical constraints. Both fetal tissue and cord blood suffer the disadvantages of limited numbers of stem cells per donation, and there is much interest in the development of technologies for the safe and reliable expansion and/or pooling of stem and progenitor cells. The observation that small numbers of stem cells are found in the peripheral blood of adults has led to the exploitation of the blood as a further source of stem cells. The ability to mobilize these cells from the medullary compartment into the periphery by the use of chemotherapy and/or recombinant hematopoietic growth factors has enabled the collection of sufficient numbers of cells for transplantation purposes. All of these advances are increasing the options and the range of choices available to clinicians and patients in the arena of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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