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Cell Transplant. 2007;16(2):151-8.

Umbilical cord blood research: current and future perspectives.

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Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking has become a new obstetrical trend. It offers expectant parents a biological insurance policy that can be used in the event of a child or family member's life-threatening illness and puts patients in a position of control over their own treatment options. However, its graduation to conventional therapy in the clinical realm relies on breakthrough research that will prove its efficacy for a range of ailments. Expanding the multipotent cells found within the mononuclear fraction of UCB so that adequate dosing can be achieved, effectively expanding desired cells ex vivo, establishing its safety and limitations in HLA-mismatched recipients, defining its mechanisms of action, and proving its utility in a wide variety of both rare and common illnesses and diseases are a few of the challenges left to tackle. Nevertheless, the field is moving fast and new UCB-based therapies are on the horizon.

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