Family-directed umbilical cord blood banking.
Umbilical cord blood transplantation from HLA-identical siblings provides good results in children. These results support targeted efforts to bank family cord blood units that can be used for a sibling diagnosed with a disease which can be cured by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or for research that investigates the use of allogeneic or autologous cord blood cells. Over 500 patients transplanted with related cord blood units have been reported to the Eurocord registry with a 4-year overall survival of 91% for patients with non-malignant diseases and 56% for patients with malignant diseases. Main hematologic indications in children are leukemia, hemoglobinopathies or inherited hematologic, immunological or metabolic disorders. However, family-directed cord blood banking is not widely promoted; many cord blood units used in sibling transplantation have been obtained from private banks that do not meet the necessary criteria required to store these units. Marketing by private banks who predominantly store autologous cord blood units has created public confusion. There are very few current validated indications for autologous storage but some new indications might appear in the future. Little effort is devoted to provide unbiased information and to educate the public as to the distinction between the different types of banking, economic models and standards involved in such programs. In order to provide a better service for families in need, directed-family cord blood banking activities should be encouraged and closely monitored with common standards, and better information on current and future indications should be made available.
Gluckman, E; Ruggeri, A; Rocha, V; Baudoux, E; Boo, M; Kurtzberg, J; Welte, K; Navarrete, C; van Walraven, SM; Eurocord, Netcord, World Marrow Donor Association and National Marrow Donor Program,
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