For 25 years, cord blood transplants have been saving the lives of those afflicted with devastating diseases. While cord blood is most commonly used to treat blood disorders and to replenish the bone marrow, clinical trials show that cord blood transplants may also be effective in hypoxic brain injuries, including stroke and cerebral palsy.
Why cord blood? Though similar to a bone marrow transplant, a cord blood transplant differs from a standard transfusion in that it utilizes umbilical cord blood. Compared to other stem cell sources, cord blood carries a reduced risk of severe complications such as graft-versus-host disease.
What is a double cord blood transplant? A double cord blood transplant is a single treatment that uses two units of tissue-matched cord blood.
Why double cord blood? Cord blood has low cell content, making a single dose most suitable for low-weight patients, such as children. Single doses may be less effective for patients above the low-weight range. Double cord blood transplants can overcome the dose limitation, and provide enough stem cells to successfully treat adults and mature children. Double cord blood transplants, according to recent studies, may also contribute to lower odds of leukemia relapse compared to single dose treatments.
The first double cord blood transplant was performed in 1999, and has become a common form of cord blood transplantation. Double cord blood transplants have given cord blood new potential, making it a suitable treatment for patients of every age.