Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation: The First 20 Years

John E. Wagner, Eliane Gluckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


In October 1988, the world's first umbilical cord blood transplant (UCBT) was performed. Despite considerable skepticism initially by both scientists and clinical specialists in the field, umbilical cord blood (UCB) has now become one of the most commonly used sources of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for allogeneic transplantation. Today, an estimated 600,000 UCB units have been banked and 20,000 UCB units have been distributed worldwide for both adults and children with life-threatening malignant and nonmalignant diseases. During this first generation of UCBT, substantial advances have been made resulting in better outcomes for our patients. UCB serves as an extraordinary example of translational medicine at its best, where clinical problems compel scientists to move basic discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches. This chapter briefly summarizes the highpoints of the history of UCBT with speculations as to what the next generation of research promises to discover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in hematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


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