Cord Blood Banking — Stimulus Package Supports Cord Blood Research

Breaking news last week of federal stimulus funding allocated to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center had meaningful and exciting implications for future research regarding the transfusion of cord blood stem cells to treat blood tumors such as leukemia.

The institution will receive more than $40 million across 60 research grants under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the Stimulus package.

One grant totaling $1.74 million will be allocated to Dr. Colleen Delaney, a member of the Clinical Research Division at the Center to explore an innovative approach to increasing the number of neutrophil cells generated from a single unit of cord blood.  These cells are capable of rapid recovery from infection following cord blood transfusions, and the hope is that the new methodology will help leukemia and lymphoma patients recover from infection and therefore produce more uniformly successful results from transfusion of cord blood cells.

“Further development of this product to confirm our initial promising results requires additional clinical trials that, if successful, could change the way cord blood transplantation is performed,” Delaney said.

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