Responses - Stem Cell Collection, Acquisition & Research

Cord Blood Stem Cell Medical Advances, Treatments & Registeries

Tremendous growth credited to medical advances in Umbilical Cord Blood and global partnerships: NMDP Celebrates 30,000 Transplants

Minneapolis — December 11, 2007

The number of patients receiving a bone marrow or cord blood transplant through the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) surged past 30,000 early this month.

Advances in transplant medicine, especially in cord blood, and increased international relationships have made transplantation an option for more patients than ever before.

In the past 16 months alone, the NMDP facilitated about 5,000 transplants. This tremendous growth is noteworthy, considering it took 10 years to achieve the first 6,000 bone marrow transplants.

“The day on which the 30,000th transplant occurred is representative of the current scope of the NMDP’s work: 19 transplants were facilitated in nine states, six countries and four continents,” said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., NMDP chief executive officer. “The NMDP is truly part of a global network, and we look forward to continuing our mission as we strive to serve all patients in need.”

Cord blood contributes to exponential growth

Today, advances in cord blood transplantation are making it possible to meet the needs of more seriously ill patients, and especially those from diverse racial and ethnic communities.

Since 2004, the number of cord blood transplants facilitated by the NMDP has nearly doubled each year.

This year (2007), one in five transplants (20%) facilitated by the NMDP used cord blood. The NMDP expects these numbers to continue to grow, providing increased access to cord blood for any patient who needs a transplant.

Patients need global collaboration
Each year, more than 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases that can only be cured with a bone marrow or cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor. These patients do not have a donor match within their family and transplant is their only hope for a cure.

Growing and maintaining a diverse donor registry has been another key to making transplants available for these patients.

Every search conducted through the NMDP provides patients with access to more than 11 million donors on the global donor listing.

This includes 7 million donors and cord blood units listed through the NMDP and an additional 4 million available through arrangements with international cooperative registries.

In 2007, approximately 49 percent of transplants facilitated by the NMDP involved either an international donor or patient.

Currently, the NMDP works with leading transplant centers and donor registries in 35 countries around the world. By increasing its international relationships and collaboration, the NMDP can continue to expand its global network to help all patients receive the life-saving transplant they need.

About the National Marrow Donor Program
The NMDP facilitates unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants as a single point of access for a long-standing collaborative network of national and international leading medical facilities in marrow and cord blood transplantation.

The NMDP connects patients, doctors, donors and researchers to the resources they need to help more people live longer and healthier lives.

Learn more about the National Marrow Donor Program or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.



International Cord Blood Registries

Leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases are global.
Doctors worldwide are searching for a bone marrow donor or cord blood unit to help change the lives of their patients.

The National Marrow Donor Program maintains cooperative relationships with cord blood registries all over the world.

When doctors search this Registry, they can select from cord blood units listed anywhere in our network of cord blood banks, both in the United States —


— and in the international cord blood registries listed below:
Sydney, Australia
TEL: 61 (2) 9229-4464

France Greffe De Moelle – Cord Blood Registry
Paris, France
TEL: 33-1-5338-8740FranceFrance

ZKRD – Cord Blood Registry
Ulm, Germany
TEL: 49-731-1507-00

BACEDCU – Unrelated Mexican Cord Blood Registry
Mexico City, Mexico
TEL: 52 (55) 5341-4569

REDMO Spanish Cord Blood Registry
Barcelona, Spain
TEL: 34-93-414-5566

Swiss Blood stem cells
Bern, Switzerland
TEL: 41-31-380-8151

The International NetCord Foundation
Dusseldorf, Germany
TEL: 34 (93) 260-7826

[from; updated July 2007]

Much ethical (non-embryonic) stem cell research is occurring throughout the world. Germany, for example, is conducting stroke and spinal cord research on humans. Other countries, such as Thailand and Brazil are also involved in human research.

In the USA, research is usually at a slower pace because of greater concerns for patient care and safety. In the USA, there are usually animal studies first to test for efficacy. Then there are 3 stages of clinical trials: a small study; a second, larger study; a third even larger study. Each becomes more involved and tests for more factors. Once the third study is complete and appears successful, then the FDA can approve the stem cell process as a Standard of Care.

When studies have been successfully conducted in other nations, it is often easier and quicker to locate funding for U.S. clinical trials and the process usually moves along at a faster pace.

National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and Cord Blood

    * How does the National Marrow Donor Program support cord blood donation and transplantation?
    * The N

ational Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is committed to building a strong network and inventory of high-quality cord blood units available to any patient who needs a transplant. We work with expectant parents and public cord blood banks to increase the number and diversity of cord blood units available for patients.

      We are also committed to improving transplant results for patients. That is why we are conducting a research study on cord blood transplantation and patient outcomes. Expectant mothers are asked to provide consent to have their baby's cord blood collected and listed on the NMDP Registry. Every cord blood unit on the Registry is included in our research study.

      We are here to help answer any questions you may have about cord blood donation. You can reach us at 1 (800) MARROW2 (1-800-627-7692) — toll-free in the United States. Outside the United States, call (612) 627-5800.

How Cord Blood is Used in Transplants
Like bone marrow, cord blood is rich in the blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases. (These cells are not embryonic stem cells.)

When a patient needs a transplant, his or her doctor will decide what the best source of blood-forming cells is.

Patient’s own cells (autologous): If the best choice is to use the patient’s own cells for transplant, the cells are usually collected from the patient’s blood stream before the transplant.

Donated cells (allogeneic): If the best choice is to use donated cells for transplant, the doctor will look for a donor or a cord blood unit with a tissue type that matches the patient’s as closely as possible. A patient’s best chance of finding a match is with a brother or sister. If a brother or sister is a match, the cells for transplant can be collected from that sibling’s bone marrow or peripheral blood or cord blood unit.

But 7 out of 10 people will have to look outside their family because there is not a suitably matched person within their family.

Those patients and their doctors can turn to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry to look for an unrelated bone marrow donor or cord blood unit. Each month, more than 260 patients find a matching adult donor or cord blood unit and receive a transplant facilitated through the NMDP Registry. Today, about 20% of those transplant patients receive cord blood that was generously donated to a public cord blood bank.

To learn more about how transplants work, see the patient information: Learning about Bone Marrow or Cord Blood Transplants (

Bone Marrow transplants and Cord Blood units are presently used interchangeably for patients. For example, in cancer treatment, stem cells are usually given to patients after chemotherapy to help speed recovery. If doctors cannot find a perfect or suitable bone marrow match (i.e. 6 of 6 antigens match) then they will search the Registry for umbilical cord blood units (even 4 or 5 of 6 antigens matching usually works well).

Both Bone Marrow Transplants (BMT) and Umbilical Cord Blood units are presently used interchangeably to treat over 70 diseases/conditions in the USA. [visit for a list].

Making Cord Blood Transplants Possible for More Patients
With more than 60,000 cord blood units on the NMDP Registry, many patients can find a suitable match.

However, the search can be more challenging for patients from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Adding more cord blood units from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the NMDP Registry increases the likelihood that all patients will find a match.

The NMDP is dedicated to making transplant possible for patients from every racial and ethnic community.
Since 2004, the number of cord blood transplants facilitated by the NMDP has nearly doubled each year.
We expect this number to continue to grow, providing increased access to cord blood for any patient who needs a transplant.

To support these patients, we partner with a network of public cord blood banks that collects and stores cord blood units, especially from diverse racial and ethnic communities.

We also serve as the nation’s Cord Blood Coordinating Center, which is part of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program authorized by federal legislation ( to help patients receive marrow or cord blood transplants.

This federal legislation passed in 2005 is a successful work in progress. It provided that the NMDP would be a unified system to serve as the center for all cord blood and marrow research and for the development of the Registry, and provided ongoing funding for this. Funding was also allotted for public cord blood banks (such as Duke and MD Anderson for example) to apply for grants totalling $12 million each year.

You can help
As you prepare for your child’s arrival, consider sharing a lifeline: donate umbilical cord blood — []