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Médecine de la Reproduction

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Cord blood stem cells: current use and perspectives in regenerative medicine Volume 11, issue 1, janvier-février 2009

Author
Eurocord, AP-HP, hôpital Saint-Louis, université Paris-VII, 1, avenue Claude-Vellefaux, 75475 Paris cedex 10, France

Cord blood is a major source of stem cells for hematopoietic stem cell transplants in children and adults. It is collected at birth from the placenta by catheterization of the umbilical veins. After collection, it is tested, processed and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Banks have developed world wide for providing cord blood for unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Currently more than 400,000 units have been collected and more than 20,000 patients with malignant and non-malignant disorders have been transplanted. Cord blood has the major advantage of immediate availability and less stringent necessity of HLA identity. Transplants with one or HLA differences give the same survival than transplants performed with an HLA identical bone marrow donor. It also becomes more and more apparent that cord blood contains also non-hematopoietic stem cells, which could be used for regenerative medicine.