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Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2011 Nov;11(4):455-61. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Transplantation: A short review.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, Muscat, Oman;

Abstract

It is more than 20 years since the first cord blood transplant (CBT) was performed, following the realisation that cord blood (CB), which is normally wasted, is rich in progenitor cells and capable of rescuing haematopoiesis. Since then it has been appreciated that CB is rich in stem cells, and has many other features not the least of which is its ability to rescue the transplanted patient without a rigid need for full human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) compatibility. Also it is easily accessible, relatively free from infections and poses no medical risk to the donor. However, the quantity of the stem cells is rather small, thus predominantly restricting its use to children or adults requiring double units. In Oman, we have taken a keen interest in stem cell research and also CBT. We see such activities as an avenue for our patients, for whom a compatible bone marrow (BM) or a peripheral blood donor cannot be found, to have an alternative in the form of CBT. This has encouraged us to establish a national voluntary cord blood bank (CBB) which is a valuable option open to a selected group of patients, as compared to the controversial private CBB. This national CBB will have a better representation of HLA-types common in the region, an improvement on relying on banks in other countries. Considering the need for stem cell transplant/therapy in this country, it is only appropriate that this sort of bank is established to cater for some of these requirements.

KEYWORDS:

Cord blood banking; Cord blood stem cell; Cord blood transplantation; National cord blood bank; Private cord blood bank; Umbilical cord blood

PMID:
22087393
PMCID:
PMC3206747
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