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Concept: Cord blood bank


Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition affecting young children that causes lifelong disabilities. Umbilical cord blood cells improve motor function in experimental systems via paracrine signaling. After demonstrating safety, we conducted a Phase II trial of autologous cord blood (ACB) infusion in children with CP to test whether ACB could improve function (, NCT01147653; IND 14360). In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of a single intravenous infusion of 1-5 × 10(7) total nucleated cells per kilogram of ACB, children ages 1 to 6 years with CP were randomly assigned to receive ACB or placebo at baseline, followed by the alternate infusion 1 year later. Motor function and magnetic resonance imaging brain connectivity studies were performed at baseline, 1, and 2 years post-treatment. The primary endpoint was change in motor function 1 year after baseline infusion. Additional analyses were performed at 2 years. Sixty-three children (median age 2.1 years) were randomized to treatment (n = 32) or placebo (n = 31) at baseline. Although there was no difference in mean change in Gross Motor Function Measure-66 (GMFM-66) scores at 1 year between placebo and treated groups, a dosing effect was identified. In an analysis 1 year post-ACB treatment, those who received doses ≥2 × 10(7) /kg demonstrated significantly greater increases in GMFM-66 scores above those predicted by age and severity, as well as in Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 Gross Motor Quotient scores and normalized brain connectivity. Results of this study suggest that appropriately dosed ACB infusion improves brain connectivity and gross motor function in young children with CP. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017.

Concepts: Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, Stem cell, Magnetic resonance imaging, Cell nucleus, Umbilical cord, Clinical trial, Cord blood


Seafood consumption during pregnancy is thought to be beneficial for child neuropsychological development, but to our knowledge no large cohort studies with high fatty fish consumption have analyzed the association by seafood subtype. We evaluated 1,892 and 1,589 mother-child pairs at the ages of 14 months and 5 years, respectively, in a population-based Spanish birth cohort established during 2004-2008. Bayley and McCarthy scales and the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test were used to assess neuropsychological development. Results from multivariate linear regression models were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and further adjusted for umbilical cord blood mercury or long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations. Overall, consumption of seafood above the recommended limit of 340 g/week was associated with 10-g/week increments in neuropsychological scores. By subtype, in addition to lean fish, consumption of large fatty fish showed a positive association; offspring of persons within the highest quantile (>238 g/week) had an adjusted increase of 2.29 points in McCarthy general cognitive score (95% confidence interval: 0.42, 4.16). Similar findings were observed for the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test. Beta coefficients diminished 15%-30% after adjustment for mercury or long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations. Consumption of large fatty fish during pregnancy presents moderate child neuropsychological benefits, including improvements in cognitive functioning and some protection from autism-spectrum traits.

Concepts: Cord blood bank, Nutrition, Cord blood, Essential fatty acid, Longitudinal study, Umbilical cord, Linear regression, Cohort study


Despite advances in early diagnosis and behavioral therapies, more effective treatments for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are needed. We hypothesized that umbilical cord blood-derived cell therapies may have potential in alleviating ASD symptoms by modulating inflammatory processes in the brain. Accordingly, we conducted a phase I, open-label trial to assess the safety and feasibility of a single intravenous infusion of autologous umbilical cord blood, as well as sensitivity to change in several ASD assessment tools, to determine suitable endpoints for future trials. Twenty-five children, median age 4.6 years (range 2.26-5.97), with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD and a qualified banked autologous umbilical cord blood unit, were enrolled. Children were evaluated with a battery of behavioral and functional tests immediately prior to cord blood infusion (baseline) and 6 and 12 months later. Assessment of adverse events across the 12-month period indicated that the treatment was safe and well tolerated. Significant improvements in children’s behavior were observed on parent-report measures of social communication skills and autism symptoms, clinician ratings of overall autism symptom severity and degree of improvement, standardized measures of expressive vocabulary, and objective eye-tracking measures of children’s attention to social stimuli, indicating that these measures may be useful endpoints in future studies. Behavioral improvements were observed during the first 6 months after infusion and were greater in children with higher baseline nonverbal intelligence quotients. These data will serve as the basis for future studies to determine the efficacy of umbilical cord blood infusions in children with ASD. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017.

Concepts: Communication, Stem cell, Asperger syndrome, Cord blood bank, Autism spectrum, Wharton's jelly, Umbilical cord, Cord blood


Recent advances in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) have led to an increasing use of alternative donors, including banked umbilical cord blood (UCB). Despite these advances, acute GVHD (aGVHD) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD) continue to be the leading causes of early and late transplant-related mortality. ABO-mismatch has been frequently reported as a risk factor for GVHD, however, data in the UCB recipients are limited. We hypothesized that as the lymphocytes in the cord blood are thought to be naive, they will therefore be less likely to mediate GVHD. Therefore, we analyzed the impact of ABO-mismatch on aGVHD and cGVHD in recipients of single and double UCB-HCT. In both univariate and multivariate analyses, presence of ABO-mismatch did not have an impact on aGVHD or cGVHD. Whereas ABO-compatible donors are preferred in recipients of URD-HCT, ABO compatibility generally need not be considered in recipients of UCB-HCT.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 18 February 2013; doi:10.1038/bmt.2013.8.

Concepts: Multivariate statistics, Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, Blood, Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Umbilical cord, Bone marrow, Cord blood


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from umbilical cord blood have been successfully used to treat blood disorders but one major hurdle is the relatively low cell dose available. Double cord blood unit transplantation results in elevated engraftment failure because one unit predominates over the other. Various approaches are thus being undertaken to expand HSCs ex vivo from single cord blood units. We report here a protocol involving slow freezing (-1 °C per minute to -120 °C) + freezing medium containing DMSO + FBS + 24 h-50 % hWJSC-CM that enhances thaw-survival of CD34+ cells. Post-thawing, the fold, percentage and colony forming unit numbers of CD34+ cells were significantly increased (2.08 ± 0.3; 102 ± 1.17 %; 1.07 ± 0.02 respectively) while the percentages of apoptotic, necrotic, dead and sub-G1 phase cells (91.06 ± 3.63 %; 91.80 ± 5.01 %; 95.6 ± 3.61 %; 86.1 ± 16.26 % respectively) were significantly decreased compared to controls. Post-thaw culture in 24 h-50 % hWJSC-CM+FBS for 72 h showed further significant increases in CD34+ cells (fold: 2.28 ± 0.17; percentage: 153.3 ± 21.99 %, CFU: 1.6 ± 0.19) and significant decreases in apoptotic, necrotic, dead and sub-G1 cells (49.2 ± 3.59 %; 62.0 ± 4.30 %; 56.6 ± 5.06 %; 28.6 ± 5.74 % respectively) compared to controls. We hypothesize that these improvements are probably related to the high levels of cytokines, cell adhesion molecules and growth factors in hWJSC-CM that help to preserve cell membrane integrity during freezing and stimulate mitosis post-thaw. A 24 h-50 % hJWSC-CM may be a useful supplement for freezing CD34+ cells in cord blood banks.

Concepts: Stem cells, Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, Blood, Bone marrow, Umbilical cord, Stem cell, Cord blood


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable, chronic, fatal neuro-degenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of moto-neurons and paralysis of skeletal muscles. Reactivating dysfunctional areas is under earnest investigation utilizing various approaches. Here we present an innovative gene-cell construct aimed at reviving inert structure and function. Human umbilical cord blood cells (hUCBCs) transduced with adeno-viral vectors encoding human VEGF, GDNF and/or NCAM genes were transplanted into transgenic ALS mice models. Significant improvement in behavioral performance (open-field and grip-strength tests), as well as increased life-span was observed in rodents treated with NCAM-VEGF or NCAM-GDNF co-transfected cells. Active trans-gene expression was found in the spinal cord of ALS mice 10 weeks after delivering genetically modified hUCBCs, and cells were detectable even 5 months following transplantation. Our gene-cell therapy model yielded prominent symptomatic control and prolonged life-time in ALS. Incredible survivability of xeno-transpanted cells was also observed without any immune-suppression. These results suggest that engineered hUCBCs may offer effective gene-cell therapy in ALS.

Concepts: Gene expression, Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, DNA, Cord blood, Gene, Umbilical cord, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is a good stem cell source for cell therapy. We recently demonstrated that cord blood mononuclear cell (MNCs) subtypes were viable and functional until 96 h after collection, even stored at room temperature. Now, we analyzed the viability and functionality of the cells before and after cryopreservation.

Concepts: Cell division, Cell biology, Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, Umbilical cord, Bone marrow, Cord blood, Stem cell


Umbilical cord blood is a source of hematopoietic stem cells essential to treat life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma. However, only a very small percentage of parents donate upon delivery. The decision to donate the cord blood occurs at a very specific time and when parents likely experience emotional, informational, and decisional overloads; these features of cord blood donation make it different from other pro-social activities. In collaboration with an OB-GYN clinic in Milan, Italy, we conducted the first randomized controlled trial that applies tools from behavioral science to foster cord blood donation, and quantified the gains that informational and behavioral “nudges” can achieve. We found that information and “soft” commitments increased donations; approaching expecting parents closer to the delivery date and providing them with multiple reminders, moreover, had the strongest impact. However, a significant portion of women who expressed consent to donate could not do so because of organizational constraints. We conclude that simple, non-invasive behavioral interventions that address information gaps and procrastination, and that increase the salience of the activity can substantially enhance altruistic donations of cord blood, especially when coupled with organizational support.

Concepts: Stem cell, Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, Donation, Umbilical cord, Blood, Cord blood, Bone marrow


This policy statement is intended to provide information to guide pediatricians, obstetricians, and other medical specialists and health care providers in responding to parents' questions about cord blood donation and banking as well as the types (public versus private) and quality of cord blood banks. Cord blood is an excellent source of stem cells for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children with some fatal diseases. Cord blood transplantation offers another method of definitive therapy for infants, children, and adults with certain hematologic malignancies, hemoglobinopathies, severe forms of T-lymphocyte and other immunodeficiencies, and metabolic diseases. The development of universal screening for severe immunodeficiency assay in a growing number of states is likely to increase the number of cord blood transplants. Both public and private cord blood banks worldwide hold hundreds of thousands of cord blood units designated for the treatment of fatal or debilitating illnesses. The procurement, characterization, and cryopreservation of cord blood is free for families who choose public banking. However, the family cost for private banking is significant and not covered by insurance, and the unit may never be used. Quality-assessment reviews by several national and international accrediting bodies show private cord blood banks to be underused for treatment, less regulated for quality control, and more expensive for the family than public cord blood banks. There is an unquestionable need to study the use of cord blood banking to make new and important alternative means of reconstituting the hematopoietic blood system in patients with malignancies and blood disorders and possibly regenerating tissue systems in the future. Recommendations regarding appropriate ethical and operational standards (including informed consent policies, financial disclosures, and conflict-of-interest policies) are provided for physicians, institutions, and organizations that operate or have a relationship with cord blood banking programs. The information on all aspects of cord blood banking gathered in this policy statement will facilitate parental choice for public or private cord blood banking.

Concepts: Medicine, Stem cells, Blood transfusion, Blood plasma, Hematology, Cord blood, Blood, Cord blood bank


We conducted an open-label, phase I study using autologous umbilical cord blood (UCB) infusion to ameliorate type 1 diabetes (T1D). Having previously reported on the first 15 patients reaching 1 year of follow-up, herein we report on the complete cohort after 2 years of follow-up.

Concepts: Diabetes, Cord blood bank, Wharton's jelly, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Cord blood, Umbilical cord, Blood