Research to Reality: More Highlights from Cord Blood World Europe 2016

Continued from page one. 

Moving cord blood research from the lab to reality, parents and health professionals need to understand the evolving landscape of the cord blood industry. The following are additional highlights from the Cord Blood World Europe Congress 2016 held in London:

  • Improving cord blood’s lifesaving power – Dr. Filippo Milano:  The more we use cord blood to treat patients, the more we learn. As with any medicine or treatment, we are always trying to make it better. That is the exact focus of the cord blood program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

    Dr. Coleen Delaney and Dr. Filippo Milano are leading the way in improving outcomes for transplant patients. With more than 300 cord blood transplants to date, Dr. Milano confirmed. . .

    Outcomes for our patients reflect this effort, with survival rates equivalent to patients receiving unrelated donor bone marrow or peripheral blood hematopoietic cell transplants.

    Likewise, the team has been instrumental in finding ways multiply or expand the number of stem cells in each cord blood donation. This is a breakthrough discovery which could potentially benefit patients around the world undergoing a transplant or chemotherapy. Learn more about the Cord Blood Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center here.

  • Expanded Use of Public Cord Blood Banked Units – Dr. Beth Shaz:  As the Chief Medical Officer for the world’s first and largest public cord blood bank, New York Blood Center’s National Cord Blood Program (NCBP), Dr. Shaz was quick to highlight the many uses for donated cord blood. She also pointed to cell expansion techniques of human cord blood progenitor cells that are now available and promise to improve patient outcomes.

    The NCBP is always looking for additional ways to use cord blood. Dr. Shaz mentioned the possibility of creating the next generation of products from high quality public cord blood units through the reprogramming of CD34+ cells into pluripotent stem cells. Learn more about the New York Blood Center’s National Cord Blood Program here.
  • Need for More Cord Blood Donations from Ethnic Minorities – Dr. Moshe Israeli: 
    Dr Moshe Israeli, Public Cord Blood Banking

    Dr. Moshe Israeli, Quality Manager, Bedomaich Chayi Public Cord Blood Bank

    The world’s population is mixing more and more everyday. This is a beautiful thing. A wonderful new blend of cultures and ethnicities is being created. However, for patients in need of a stem cell transplant this blending creates a major challenge! Finding a match in this new “blended” world can be extremely difficult. Luckily, cord blood has fewer matching criteria than bone marrow but that does not make it “one size fits all.”

    Until science proves otherwise, cord blood must still be matched to the recipient. As with bone marrow, we are constantly faced with a challenge to attract ethnic minority donors. Dr. Israeli demonstrated this by using a case from his cord blood bank in Israel. He highlighted how much faster the Israeli population is “blending” as compared to other parts of the world.

    Learn more about the Bedomaich Chayi Public Cord Blood Bank here.

  • Bringing True Social Change – NEXT GENERATION: Cord Blood – Charis Ober:  The state of Arizona has served as a learning lab for the cord blood movement. Ms. Ober discussed her experience as a cord blood educator and emphasized the necessity for teaching our youth about the science behind cord blood, how it is being used currently, the exciting research that is happening in the field and the potential for STEM careers in this area. Save the Cord Foundation officially launched the NEXT GENERATION: Cord Blood program globally at the London conference ( #NEXTGENERATION )

    This program is unique in that it provides easy to use educational tools adapted for each age group. The program is open to all schools (from kindergarten to university level). It is a non-commercial program supported and promoted through official partners of the program better known as “Cord Blood Education Champions.” Find out more about NEXT GENERATION: Cord Blood here.

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Go to page 1 of this article.

We wish to thank the team at Cord Blood World Europe 2016 for their hard work and bringing together so many leading experts in the cord blood industry. #CordBloodEu 

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so that we can continue to educate parents, health professionals and the #NEXTGENERATION!

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From Research to Reality: More Cord Blood Needed

From Research to Reality: More Cord Blood Needed

More cord blood is needed. Groundbreaking potential treatments are quickly moving their way from research to reality.  This was the main message we heard from cord blood experts at the recent Cord Blood World Europe Congress in London.

Indeed, the world of cord blood may find itself shocked by a sudden increase in demand thanks to promising new applications if we do not start to prepare ourselves.  

You are probably aware that cord blood is already being used around the world to treat over 80 different diseases including many blood cancers. There is no doubt that as more doctors become aware of the distinct advantages of cord blood versus other treatments and drugs, we will inevitably see an increase in the demand for cord blood. This increase in usage will also rely on improvements in logistics related to cord blood collection and processing.

Yet, the most significant increase in demand for cord blood could potentially come from the encouraging research and clinical trials based on using cord blood to treat things like spinal cord injury (#sci), cerebral palsy and autism.

Just a note on the cord blood industry in 2016. . .

We all agree that the cord blood industry is still relatively young when compared to other health industries. As such, it still has lots of room for improvement.

The good news is that improvement is happening as more banks are recognizing the need for proper accreditation, doctors are becoming more familiar with the cord blood transplant process (how to prepare, what to expect, . . .), costs are coming down as banks are learning how to be more efficient, public banks are starting to find support from governments and generous donors, etc.

The industry is maturing. There will be some cord blood banks that don’t survive this next evolution in the industry. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and that is what we saw at the Cord Blood World Europe congress.

Parents need to understand this evolving landscape in order to anticipate how their child’s cord blood might be used. Depending on your particular family’s needs or priorities, you may choose to publicly donate or family bank your child’s cord blood. Educate yourself. Choose wisely.

For parents and health professionals alike, we would like to give you a few highlights from this conference ( #CordBloodEu ). Some of the speakers you may recognize from our Share the Science series or the NEXT GENERATION: Cord Blood program.

  • A Look at the Future of Cord Blood Banking – Dr. Eliane Gluckman:  As the first doctor in the world to perform a cord blood transplant in 1988, Dr. Gluckman gave an overview of the potential future uses for cord blood and discussed possible areas of improvement for the industry. Dr. Gluckman has been instrumental in showing that cord blood can be used to treat leukemia and she laid the groundwork for many of the processes currently accepted worldwide.
  • Using Cord Blood for Spinal Cord Injury – Dr. Wise Young:  Presenting groundbreaking research using cord blood to treat spinal cord injury, Dr. Young was quick to point out that there are numerous clinical trials (including his own) using cord blood currently and many are having encouraging results. He discussed successes in his own research using a combination of cord blood, lithium and exercise to potentially treat chronic spinal cord injury, giving patients the ability to walk again and regain other bodily functions. Dr. Young confirmed that 75% of his patients in initial studies regained the ability to walk following his treatment.  His research is now in Phase II trials to confirm these results in the United States, India and China.

    Learn more by visiting the official site for the W. M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience (Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers University). Dr. Young encourages families and patients affected by spinal cord injury to visit the Keck Center during open days and workshops to learn more about their options for treatment. Online you can also join in discussions with others at
  • Using Cord Blood to Help the Brain (Cerebral palsy, autism, etc.) – Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg:  The work of Dr. Kurtzberg has garnered international attention. Based at Duke University, she has spent years studying how cord blood can potentially help the brain heal following an acquired or genetic brain injury. Her presentation showed examples of several children she has helped throughout the years using cord blood.  To date, her clinical trials have focused on intravenous infusions of autologous cord blood (using one’s own cord blood). Efficacy studies are also underway in babies with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and young children with cerebral palsy, congenital hydrocephalus and autism.
    You can learn more about Dr. Kurtzberg’s clinical trial at Duke University Medical Center here.


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Go to page 2 of this article.

Now, it’s your turn parents!

Being a parent today is not easy. Being an expectant parent may be even harder as you face numerous questions about your family’s future. You are faced with many unknowns. Yet, giving birth is a time of empowerment. You have a unique (and fleeting) opportunity to give life twice. Whether you donate or private bank your child’s cord blood, we ask you to please be pro-active. Be ready to challenges the myths and misunderstandings about cord blood. The truth is…it could save a life.

Learn more about your options and the key questions to ask. Start here. . .

Give life twice. Save cord blood.

Get the facts. Save the cord.

Shifts in the Cord Blood Market and Potential for Growth, interview with Charis Ober by Cord Blood World Europe

Shifts in the Cord Blood Market and Potential for Growth, interview with Charis Ober by Cord Blood World Europe


The following is an interview conducted by Cord Blood World Europe with Charis Ober, Executive Director of Save the Cord Foundation, in preparation for the World Cord Blood Europe Congress 2016 in London.

What do you think are the biggest achievements within the cord blood and transplantation sector within the past 12 months?

Over the past year, there have been numerous achievements in cord blood research and, in particular, in areas of regenerative medicine using cord blood.  However, at Save the Cord Foundation, we consider the biggest achievement in the past 12 months to be a shift in attitudes towards cord blood.  Parents and health professionals are starting to wake up to the need to save cord blood whether publicly or privately.  They are asking more questions, better questions, looking for ways to bring cord blood collection into their delivery rooms, challenging government leaders to do more. . . This shift in attitudes and general increase in awareness suggests that cord blood has a bright future and will inevitably be an integral part of healthcare worldwide, if we continue to work together.

How do you see the cord blood market change over the next 5 years?

There is no doubt that the industry is maturing and evolving.  In particular, the worlds of public and private cord blood banking are blending more and more through cooperative projects and hybrid business models. Indeed, there is often a halo effect for the private bank when operating in areas where public banking is commonly practiced. The halo effect can be defined in one word, “awareness.”  Awareness is achieved through education (with the best education coming from unbiased and non-commercial sources).

Over the next 5 years, we think this trend of blending public and private will continue. Yet, for these cooperative projects to succeed there will need to be true educational programs.  We know from experience that simple brochures and advertisements are not enough.  If we want to build a sustainable industry, we must increase awareness. We must educate. In particular, we must begin to educate our youth, the Next Generation . . . who in the next 5-8 years will begin the next phase of their lives as parents, scientists, doctors and nurses. We must begin now to educate them on cord blood so that saving cord blood becomes second nature.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the sector?

The biggest challenge is going mainstream with unbiased and non-commercial cord blood education. We have done a great job talking about ourselves to each other and expectant parents, but we have left an entire population in the dark– our youth. If we are ever going to gain traction on the cord blood movement, we must get the next generation on board.

What important points do you hope to convey at the congress, and what information can you give me now that delegates can look forward to?

I see this conference as a potential turning point in the industry.  With so many great minds in attendance, I look forward to presenting new ways that we can work together as an industry to increase awareness.  Save the Cord Foundation has an outstanding reputation for dynamic and informative educational programs. Whether we are hosting a Share the Science webinar with a leading researcher or answering questions from a high school student, we always put education first. Our newest educational program, Next Generation: Cord Blood, promises to provide a unique port of entry to young minds everywhere for both public and private cord blood banks worldwide. We will be presenting this new program in detail during the conference. We invite readers to watch a preview video here.

What do you think will be the biggest topic of discussion at Cord Blood World Europe, this May?

There are sure to be several hot topics during this upcoming conference such as expanding cord blood banking and donation, looking at new ways to expand the global cord blood market and hearing about all the new research and developments taking place that will change the face of medicine. We think all of these developments will likewise find a voice via our various educational programs at Save the Cord Foundation and, in particular, via Next Generation: Cord Blood.

What are you looking forward to most about Cord Blood World Europe?

This conference is an incredible opportunity to meet face-to-face, reconnect with education partners and collaborate with organizations and cord blood banks worldwide. We look forward to seeing you there!


Join Charis Ober at Cord Blood World Europe taking place this 18-19 May at the Business Design Centre London. For more information visit the website: or download the brochure


Why must we care about cord blood?
Why must we push for more cord blood education? 
We owe it to our children. We owe it to ourselves.

Discover NEXT GENERATION: Cord Blood and see how cord blood education can change the future of medicine.

next generation cord blood science fair


About Save the Cord Foundation

Save the Cord Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was established to promote awareness of the life-saving benefits of cord blood based on unbiased and factual information. The Foundation educates parents, health professionals and the general public about the need to preserve this valuable medical resource while providing information on both public cord blood donation programs and family cord blood banks worldwide.

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