Research and Clinical Trials
Cord Blood Research & Clinical Trials
Upstate Cord Blood Bank
In the late 1980s, blood cancers and leukemia were treated with cord blood stem cells when patients failed bone marrow treatment or a bone marrow match could not be found. Today, over 80 diseases have been treated with cord blood units; researchers are conducting cutting-edge clinical trials in areas such as early hearing loss in infants, cerebral palsy, autism, and other conditions. Researchers continue to explore new applications for the use of cord blood stem cells. The FDA regularly reviews the results of clinical trials for new treatments.
As a public, not-for-profit blood banking facility, Upstate Cord Blood Bank in Syracuse, New York offers options to clients who are interested in donating or banking their newborn’s cord blood. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are invaluable to medical research, especially in studies seeking to advance new treatments for cancer.
We work with regional hospitals and providers to develop guidelines and agreements to enable mothers in the Central New York area to donate their cord blood to the public bank or for storage in our family bank. This makes the Upstate Cord Blood Bank a valuable resource for physicians to obtain umbilical cord blood and stem cells for advanced lifesaving treatments and research. Products collected, processed, and stored at the Upstate Cord Blood Bank will be available to physicians and researchers across the United States, as well as internationally.
Upstate Cord Blood Bank operates under strict guidelines and protocols established by state and federal health organizations for quality assurance. This includes the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). We submit to regular inspections and testing to ensure that our state-of-the-art facility remains a safe haven for banked cord blood.
Cord blood is only one of three sources of blood-forming cells used in transplants. These cells, known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), are also found in bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells.
HSCs are capable of renewing themselves into a variety of different cell types based on the treatment needs of the patient receiving the transplant. Because the healthy HSCs are extracted from cord blood at an early development stage, this gives the cells an even greater ability to self-replicate, and they are less likely to be rejected by the patient’s immune system.
When your cord blood arrives at our facility, we will run tests and begin processing the cord blood for long-term storage. During our process, we use highly specialized equipment to extract the HSCs from your baby’s cord blood. The HSCs are secured in a vacuum-sealed overwrap bag made of TeflonTM and then put into a protective metal receptacle to be stored in our state-of-the-art cryogenic tanks.
Each cord blood unit (CBU) is recorded in our local database using a unique identification number that keeps your identity anonymous, but makes the unit easily retrievable when needed for lifesaving treatment. However, when you donate specifically to the public bank, the CBU data will also be uploaded to an international registry database to be made available for patients all over the world.
Cord blood is being used for both children and adult patients. However, cord blood is used more often in children for transplants. This is due to the fact that each CBU has a limited number of HSCs. Smaller patients will usually receive enough HSCs from one CBU, but fully grown patients will sometimes need to receive two or more combined CBUs for treatment.
When patients are in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant, there are several reasons why a doctor might choose cord blood:
- Cord blood does not have to be as closely matched to a patient as a marrow donor. This is a good option for patients with uncommon tissue types.
- Cord blood units are quickly available for transplantation as they are in storage and ready for use.
- Studies have found that graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) is less common and less severe after a cord blood transplant than after a transplant using peripheral blood stem cells.
Cord blood and stem cells are in high demand, not only for immediate use as a transplantable option for treatment of many diseases, but for continued advancement of research that is essential for the future of lifesaving treatments. If you would like to partner with us to advance cord blood research, please call Upstate Cord Blood Bank at (315) 492-2600 today.