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Potential for access to embryonic-like cells from human umbilical cord blood

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Colin McGuckin, Dr Nicolas Forraz


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All too often media attention clouds the reality that there are many types of stem cell. The embryos, bone marrow and umbilical cord blood (UCB) are the three most used sources. However, despite what it would appear, embryonic stem cells have not been the first to yield life-saving cures at present. Faster routes to clinical intervention have been using adult stem cells that can be sourced from bone marrow and from cord blood, and that are readily accessible and are more ethically acceptable to the general public. Both these non-embryonic sources have been able to provide sufficient numbers of cells to allow development of clinical translational protocols. Bone marrow-derived cells have been used successfully in myocardial infarct therapy where relining by endothelial tissue has allowed limited reperfusion to damaged cardiac tissue. UCB have also demonstrated significant success for around 20 years in haematotransplantation. With a global human population in excess of 6 billion, births thus UCB, remain the largest untouched source of stem cells available every year. UCB also provide a distinct advantage over other adult stem cells due to the length of the telomere and also due protected immunological status of the developing neonatal environment. The total mutation load in the UCB populations is clearly likely to be significant less than in adult tissues. © 2008 The Authors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McGuckin CP, Forraz N

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Cell Proliferation: Proceedings of the lnternational Congress: Stem Cells; what future for therapy? Scientific aspects and bioethical problems

Year of Conference: 2008

Pages: 31-40

ISSN: 0960-7722

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2008.00490.x

PubMed id: 18181943

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 13652184