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Cord Blood - Stem Cell Dept. Department Of Health And Human Services
Cord Blood Options Cord blood transplants are used to
treat diseases like leukaemia, anaemia,
neuroblastoma, cancer and blood
disorders. A patient receiving an
infusion undergoes chemotherapy first
and then is given a blood graft.
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The graft contains hematopoietic stem
Cord Blood Banking cells that are able to replenish the
blood supply and restore the immune
Cord Blood Storage system.
Cord Blood Services Cord blood transplants are able to do
this because of the ability of
Cryo-Cell Cord Blood hematopoietic stem cells to
differentiate into any type of blood cell
Cord Blood Stem Cell or immune cells.
Cord Blood Transplants
These cells can be found in the bone marrow of adults but embryonic stem cells coming from
Cord Blood Registry cord blood transplants are more advantageous for medical use. This is because they
proliferate at a faster rate and have had less exposure to viruses and age.
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Transplants can be of three types – autologous, allogenic or syngeneic. An autologous
transplant comes from the patient’s own blood, an allogenic transplant comes from a relative
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and a syngeneic transplant comes from an identical twin. Children generally do not benefit
» from autologous transplants but can benefit from allogenic and syngeneic transplants. Adults
have a fifty percent chance of benefiting from an autologous transplant.
If an allogenic transplant is required, the donor blood must match the human leukocyte
antigen (HLA) tissue of the recipient. Human leukocyte antigens are proteins that act as
markers that help the body determine if cells are foreign or local. If there is a close
resemblance between the donor and patient, the chance of the recipient developing graft-
versus-host-disease (GVHD) is reduced.
GVHD occurs when the transplanted
cells attack the recipient’s cells. The
symptoms of GVHD include vomiting,
weight loss and skin rash in acute
cases and hair loss and hepatitis in
If a patient is not able to receive
donations from relatives, his doctor can
search The Blood Registry® operated
by the National Marrow Donor
The Blood Registry® includes thirteen
million latent donors located all over
the world. The registry does not
guarantee a match but does increase
the possibility of finding one
Before a patient receives a cord blood transplant, his body has to be primed. This
preparatory treatment can include chemotherapy and radiation therapy which aims to
destroy the recipient’s maligned cells and immune system. If a patient is old or extremely
unhealthy, the severity of the preparatory treatments is reduced.
The immune system has to be destroyed so that it will not attack the transplant cells. The
transplant is infused into a vein in the chest of the patient. The most common method of
doing this is using a Hickman® catheter. A Hickman® catheter is placed just above the heart
in a vein below the collarbone. The infused cells migrate to the bone marrow where they
proliferate into red and white blood cells and platelets to form new bone marrow.
Red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen, white blood cells fight infection and platelets
are used to control bleeding. Engraftment or the formation of new bone marrow normally
takes place within thirty days. When cord blood transplants are used engraftment time
lengthens which increase the possibility of infections developing.