Simple Procedure Offers Significant Advances in Umbilical Cord Blood HCT

A simple ex vivo technique to improve the ability of umbilical cord blood cells to find their way to the bone marrow can significantly accelerate neutrophil and platelet engraftment following double cord blood transplantation. Researchers treated one of two cord blood units prior to transplant for 30 minutes with fucosyltransferase-VI and guanosine diphosphate fucose to improve the cells’ marrow-homing ability. The 22 patients who received a treated cord blood unit experienced a faster median time to neutrophil engraftment compared to 31 historical controls (17 days vs. 26 days, respectively; p=0.0023) and platelet engraftment (35 days vs. 45 days, respectively; p=0.0520). In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Stella Davies noted that “the strategy used is appealing because it is simple and could be performed in any institution with a cell manipulation laboratory.”

Popat U, et al. Blood

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