Journal Mobile

J Davies
Journal Issue: 
Volume 39: Issue 2: 2009




Umbilical cord-derived haemopoietic stem cells (UCDSCs) were first shown to be capable of supporting sustained engraftment approximately 30 years ago, but their role as a transplant source has been slow to develop. Recent work, however,  suggests  an  increasing  future  use  of  UCDSCs  in  both  children  and
adults. The transplantation of UCDSCs is feasible, and concerns around cell dose and poor engraftment have been partly addressed with the use of double-cord donation.  Other  developments  in  this  area  include  the  potential  for ex  vivo expansion  of  UCDSCs  and,  intriguingly,  the  direct  transplantation  of  UCDSCs into the marrow cavity. Clinical studies have confirmed the utility of UCDSCs and suggest that they have a particular role in patients who do not have an available sibling  or  fully  matched  unrelated  donor.  Given  the  potential  availability  of UCDSCs  and  the  less  stringent  requirements  for  human  leukocyte  antigen   matching to the recipient, the use of UCDSCs is likely to increase. This could, in theory, allow near-universal access to allogeneic transplantation for those patients who may benefit from the procedure.