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Expert Rev Hematol. 2010 Jun;3(3):273-83. doi: 10.1586/ehm.10.24.

Strategies to enhance umbilical cord blood stem cell engraftment in adult patients.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Mailstop D2-100, 1100 Fairview Ave N, PO Box, 9024, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Umbilical cord blood (UCB) has been used successfully as a source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for allogeneic transplantation in children and adults in the treatment of hematologic diseases. However, compared with marrow or mobilized peripheral blood stem cell grafts from adult donors, significant delays in the rates and kinetics of neutrophil and platelet engraftment are noted after UCB transplant. These differences relate in part to the reduced numbers of HSCs in UCB grafts. To improve the rates and kinetics of engraftment of UCB HSC, several strategies have been proposed, including ex vivo expansion of UCB HSCs, addition of third-party mesenchymal cells, intrabone delivery of HSCs, modulation of CD26 expression, and infusion of two UCB grafts. This article will focus on ex vivo expansion of UCB HSCs and strategies to enhance UCB homing as potential solutions to overcome the problem of low stem cell numbers in a UCB graft.


CXCR4; Notch; SDF-1; cord blood transplantation; engraftment; ex vivo expansion; hematopoietic stem cell; stem cell homing; umbilical cord blood

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