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modified from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or bone marrow transplantation is a medical procedure in the field of haematology and oncology that involves transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). It is most often performed for people with diseases of the blood or bone marrow, or certain types of cancer.
Bone marrow transplantation was pioneered at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in the United States. The first transplant was attempted in the 1950s but the procedure was greatly improved by E. Donnall Thomas, who joined the team in 1963, finally achieving regular success in the 1970s. He was subsequently recognized with a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1990. Dr. Thomas' work showed that bone marrow cells infused intravenously could repopulate the bone marrow and produce new blood cells. His work also reduced the likelihood of developing a life-threatening complication called Graft-versus-host disease. However it remains a risky procedure and it is reserved for patients with life threatening diseases.



modified from the United States national marrow donor program website

Umbilical cord blood is playing an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases. If you have been told a bone marrow transplant (BMT) is a possible treatment for your disease, a cord blood transplant may be an option.

Umbilical cord blood is one of three sources for the blood-forming cells used in transplants. The other two sources are bone marrow and peripheral (circulating) blood. The first cord blood transplant was done in 1988. Cord blood plays an important role in transplant today. Doctors are still learning about the ways cord blood transplants are similar to and different from marrow or peripheral blood transplants.

Umbilical cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. This blood is rich in blood-forming cells. The donated cord blood is tested, frozen and stored at a cord blood bank for future use. The stored cord blood is called a cord blood unit.




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