With the establishment of cord blood banks, the number of related and unrelated umbilical cord blood transplants is increasing worldwide. Close links have been established with the cord blood banks. Available data showed that umbilical cord blood transplants offer overall results comparable to those obtained with related or unrelated bone marrow transplants. Several differences were found: engraftment with cord blood was delayed, resulting in an increased incidence of early transplant complications, and the incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease was significantly reduced with cord blood grafts, even in HLA-mismatched transplants and in adults. In patients with leukemia, the rate of relapse appeared to be similar to that documented in bone marrow transplant recipients. These data confirm the potential benefit of using umbilical cord blood hematopoietic stem cells for allogeneic transplants. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Inc.
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