Outcomes of stem cell transplants using umbilical cord blood to treat blood disorders could be improved by use of a technique that refines the matching of potential donors with recipients, report researchers from Netherlands and the United States (van Rood JJ et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.0910310106 [published online November 9, 2009]).
Using cord blood rather than bone marrow as the source of stem cells requires less stringent matching of human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) between the recipient and potential donors. But clinicians are unable to predict which HLA mismatches will yield successful engraftment and which will result in immune rejection.
Stephenson J. Cord Blood Transplants. JAMA. 2009;302(23):2531. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1840