Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking
© 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Hematological (blood) cancers are the fifth major cause of cancer in the United Kingdom with around 25. 000 new cases being reported annually (http://www.lrf.co.uk). A potentially curative therapy for severe hematological malignancies and other severe disorders of the blood and bone marrow is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), with its usage having increased rapidly over the past 20 years. Worldwide, approximately 70. 000 patients p.a. receive HSCT. This equates to ∼25. 000 individuals in Europe, of whom ∼3000 are in the United Kingdom. Although over 60% of HSCT use autologous HSC donations, a significant proportion of HSCs are sourced from related and unrelated allogeneic donors either from the bone marrow, from peripheral blood after induced mobilization, or from cord blood. In recent years, the number of HSCTs using cord blood has increased substantially and now constitutes ∼20% of unrelated HSCT in the United States and ∼50% in Japan. Cord blood units are banked prior to transplantation in public, private, or hybrid public-private cord blood banks. Because most cord blood transplants have been from unrelated donors, this article will concentrate on unrelated public cord blood banking, covering recent clinical advances, recommendations for improving cord blood unit quality, and regulations governing cord blood acquisition and provision for human use.