History of Cord Blood Transplantation
The first transplant of umbilical cord blood was conducted in 1970 in a 16 year old teenager with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This patient received units of cord blood from eight different unrelated donors, not having been tested for some HLA incompatibility whatsoever, over a period of 18 days. Although only one of these units has generated a graft, the patient remained in complete remission (in conjunction with chemotherapy maintenance) until his last medical appointment scheduling within 9 months.
Subsequent laboratory experiments launched in 1982, confirmed that the cord blood contained hematopoietic stem cells suitable for grafts. This research led to the harvesting and banking of cord blood (at Indiana University in Indianapolis) from siblings of children needing a transplant. In 1988, Paris, France, Gluckman and his colleagues reported being able to cure Fanconi's anemia in a five years old boy, by using umbilical cord blood from his young sister. The New York Blood Center has established the Placental Blood Program in 1992 and published in 1998, the results of the 562 first transplants of umbilical cord blood from unrelated donors. In 1993, the first three programs launched to develop major banks of cryopreserved umbilical cord blood, from healthy newborn, were able to make it in New York, Milan and Düsseldorf. The UK National Health service has started banking umbilical cord blood for stem cell transplant, in 1996. During the same year, the Alberta Cord Blood Bank became the first umbilical cord blood bank in Canada. At present, there are, on the website Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide, 33 registries of umbilical cord blood in over 21 countries.
Related ArticlesAdvantages of Cord Blood Transplants
Limitations of Cord Blood Transplantation