The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has called for a national network of
cord blood stem cell banks that could ultimately provide transplantable hematopoietic
progenitor cells for most patients who would benefit from such transplants.
In a report released April 14 that had been requested by the US Congress
last year, the IOM suggested that the Department of Health and Human Services
establish a National Cord Blood Policy Board to create rules for donation,
collection, and use of cord blood, which is now routinely discarded. Cord
blood is a good source of hematopoietic progenitor cells that give rise to
a variety of blood cells, which have been transplanted in patients with such
hematologic diseases as leukemia, lymphoma, or sickle cell anemia. It is now
considered superior to bone marrow as a source of transplantable stem cells
for allogeneic transplants because its progenitor cells have a lower rejection
rate than those derived from bone marrow.
Mitka M. Cord Blood Stem Cell Network Proposed. JAMA. 2005;293(19):2332. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2332