Healthcare Blog

High Percentage Of Blood Disorder Patients Were Cured Or Achieved Remission When Treated With Stem Cells From Their Own Cord Blood Or A Sibling's

May 21, 2017

In a retrospective review of blood disorder patients treated with stem cells from their own cord blood (autologous transplant) or from the cord blood of a sibling (allogeneic-related transplant), the majority of the patients were cured or achieved remission from their disease, according to a report presented today at the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) annual meeting.

"This study provides important insights into the ability of transplant physicians to achieve successful outcomes using an individual's own cord blood to treat an environmentally-triggered blood disease or cord blood from a family member to treat certain genetic blood disorders and inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFs)," said Dr. Jennifer Willert, senior attending transplant physician and clinical professor at Rady Children's Hospital, University of California - San Diego, and lead author of this study. "In addition, this data suggests that the use of genetically-related cord blood may reduce the rate of mortality as well as the risk of treatment-related complications."

The analysis examined transplant recipient data from 16 cases of nonmalignant blood disorders. Four of the patients were infused with their own cord blood stem cells to treat aplastic anemia, an acquired condition. Twelve patients were transplanted with cord blood stem cells of a sibling for a range of inherited conditions including, thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, Fanconi anemia and Hurler syndrome.

The review showed that two-thirds of the patients (10) are either cured or in remission, including half of the patients treated with their own cord blood. Three patients died of complications unrelated to their cord blood transplant; one patient experienced a relapse; and the outcomes status of two patients is not known.

All 16 cord blood collections were processed and cryopreserved at Cord Blood Registry and were viable for transplant when requested. The average storage time prior to use was about 27 months; however, one child's collection was stored for nine and half years and used to successfully cure that child's aplastic anemia (autologous use).

Advantages of Genetically-Related Cord Blood Use in Transplantation

According to previously published data, transplantation of genetically-related umbilical cord blood has demonstrated clinical advantages over bone marrow, peripheral blood and unrelated umbilical cord blood. Since cord blood stem cells are immunologically younger than other "adult" stem cell sources, they demonstrate more versatility and flexibility when used in transplantation. Stem cell transplants from genetically-related sources (those from an immediate family member) result in better treatment outcomes than transplants from an unrelated donor and are associated with less frequent and less severe graft-vs.-host disease, a complication that occurs when the donor cells attack different parts of the body. Cord blood is rapidly becoming a preferred stem cell source in transplant therapy, with more than 10,000 cord blood transplants performed worldwide to-date.

"This study is relevant to any expectant parent considering whether or not to privately bank cord blood stem cells," said Willert. "Individuals who have access to their own cord blood stem cells, as well as a sibling's, have the best chance of treating a blood disorder that develops. For expectant parents who already have a family member with a diagnosed blood disorder that can be treated by cord blood stem cells, it's important to know that there are free cord blood banking programs available - known as related donor or designated transplant programs - that provide immediate access to the genetically-related stem cells."

About Cord Blood Registry's Designated Transplant Program

Related donor programs - such as Cord Blood Registry's Designated Transplant Program®, offer expectant parents the opportunity to bank the cord blood of their newborn at no cost when another family member has been diagnosed with a condition that may require a stem cell transplant. The first charitable cord blood banking program of its kind, CBR's Designated Transplant Program was launched in 1996 and currently has nearly 2,000 newborns that have been accepted into the program. For a family to qualify for the program, the designated recipient of the cord blood stem cells must be diagnosed with a disease currently treated with a stem cell transplant and be a first-or second-degree blood relative to the newborn (sibling, half-sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle). Additionally, the recipient's physician must verify that the stem cells may be used for treatment. For qualified families, CBR will process and store the cord blood stem cells of the newborn in the family at no cost until they are needed for transplant.

About Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) is the world's largest cord blood stem cell processing and cryopreservation service and offers families guaranteed access to genetically-related stem cells that are viable for medical use. CBR was the first family bank accredited by AABB and is the most recommended cord blood bank by obstetricians. To date, CBR has processed and stored cord blood collections for more than 200,000 newborns throughout the world and has released more than 65 client cord blood units for specific therapeutic use - more than any other family cord blood bank. The company's research and development efforts are focused on helping the world's leading researchers advance regenerative medical therapies using cord blood stem cells as well as continuing to introduce industry-leading technical innovations for stem cell collection, processing and storage that optimize quality and cell yield. Additionally, CBR facilitates collection of donated samples, available for research programs worldwide that are focused on stem cell expansion and other cord blood stem cell-based therapies.

Cord Blood Registry