Current & Future Applications


Haemotopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation could be an option for the treatment of various serious medical conditions listed. Each case is evaluated based on the type of disease, the patient’s needs and the source of the graft: either bone marrow, peripheral blood or Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB). Transplantation may be autologous, meaning the use of the  patient’s own cells, or allogeneic, using cells from a donor.



The criteria applied to evaluate transplantation needs are constantly changing, along with the experience gained through some 50 thousand or so haematopoietic stem cell transplants that take place worldwide every year. The number of transplantations using UCB is rising every year. Since 2005, allogeneic UCB transplants in children have outnumbered, those of bone marrow grafts.


UCB Current Applications:


  • Different types of malignancies, Leukaemia and Lymphoma

  • Severe Aplastic Anaemia and other marrow failure conditions

  • Myelodysplastic Disorders or abnormalities in bone marrow cell production


Stem cells deriving from individuals with  inherited (congenital) conditions cannot be used. However, inherited conditions (like the ones listed below) may be treated using stem cells from a healthy individual such as a sibling.


  • Haemoglobinopathies like inherited types of anaemia
  • Inherited Immune System Disorders
  • Inherited metabolic disorders


There is 25% possibility of a perfect match between siblings. However, UCB may be used with reduced compatibility increasing the possibility of a match between siblings. Grafts deriving from siblings are preferred as they have increased possibilities for successful engraftment.


Possible Future Applications of Stem Cells

The positive outcome from CB and CT stem cell research and applications has led to clinical trials for the treatment of other serious conditions. Researchers and scientists believe that future treatments will involve the use of stem cells from various sources, including Cord Blood and Cord Tissue. Research in the field commonly known as "Regenerative Medicine" is ongoing at numerous centers for the therapy of:


  • Cerebral palsy/paralysis following hypoxia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Diabetes types I and II
  • Nerve restoration following spinal cord injuries
  • Gene therapy for inherited diseases
  • Heart conditions and restoration of heart vessels
  • Restoration or improvement of vision and hearing
  • Restoration of brain damage following stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease


Regenerative Medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves. Regenerative medicine also empowers scientists to grow tissues and organs in the laboratory and safely implant them when the body cannot heal itself. More importantly, regenerative medicine has the potential to solve the problem of the shortage of organs available for donation compared to the number of patients that require life-saving organ transplantation, as well as solve the problem of organ transplant rejection, since the organ's cells will match those of the patient's. Potential applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering using Mesenchymal and Endothelial Stem Cells:



Furthermore, research and clinical trials  concerning the laboratory proliferation and expansion of UCB stem cell population has advanced significantly. This is the effort to increase the cell numbers of the graft and the transplanted dosage which significantly increases the potential of  UCB graft applications; since higher stem cell numbers reduce dosage limitations and provide:


  • Increased possibilities of successful engraftment
  • Increased possibilities of applications in adults
  • Increased number of patients who would potentially benefit from a transplant