Umbilical cord blood: Current status & promise for the future

David H McKenna, Jayesh Sheth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Umbilical cord blood (UCB) has been shown to be a suitable source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for haematopoietic reconstitution. An increase in the number of UCB transplants indicates an expansion of utility in a broad spectrum of disease conditions. Along with the advantages, UCB also has limitations, and hence several investigators are working to further optimize UCB for this use. Beyond haematopoietic transplantation, additional potential applications of UCB include immunotherapy, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. UCB banking has improved with time largely due to involvement of professional organizations and their published standards. However, accreditation of these organizations remains voluntary, and in India three of ten banks are public with the remaining being private. Only one public and one private bank are American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) accredited in India. Government agencies need to provide regulatory and safety oversight, which is lacking in serveral countries. Public policy regarding UCB is in its infancy throughout most of the world. Ethical issues, including access to UCB banking and use as therapy for diseases other than haematological and metabolic disorders are in the early phase of trials and remain speculative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Haematopoietic reconstitution
  • Stem cells
  • Umbilical cord blood (UCB)


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