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Towards a hybrid model for the cryopreservation of umbilical cord

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					CorrespondenCe                                                                                              L i n k t o o r i g i n a L a rt i c L e




Towards a hybrid model for the
cryopreservation of umbilical cord
blood stem cells
Zafiris Polymenidis* and George P. Patrinos‡


In a recent article (Sullivan, M. J. Banking   banking models, based on patient priority,
on cord blood stem cells. Nature Rev.          conditional donation and CB unit sharing.
Cancer 8, 555‑563 (2008))1, Michael J.         Similarly, the European Group on Ethics
Sullivan argues that “…in the absence of       in Science and New Technologies, under
any published transplant evidence to sup‑      directives 2004/23/EC, 2006/17/EC and
port autologous and non‑directed family        2006/86/EC, does not discourage private
banking, commercial cord banks currently       CB banking and does not make any distinc‑
offer a superfluous service.” Umbilical cord   tion between public or private CB banks for
blood (CB) is a unique part of a baby’s        allogeneic and autologous transplantations,
body that, if discarded — a decision that      respectively, particularly as the latter case
cannot be made by the child — is impos‑        guarantees not only the graft’s survival,
sible to retrieve. Currently, following the    due to histocompatibility, but also stem cell
documented success of bone marrow              availability. In both cases, the same require‑
and peripheral blood transplantations,         ments for accreditation, unit designation,
both allogeneic and autologous, there are      authorization and licensing of the tissue
numerous commercial and public CB              and cell preparation process and control
stem cell cryopreservation banks, a            must apply, based on a single European
fraction of which indeed offer services of     coding system.
questionable quality.                              Under these conditions, the hybrid pri‑
   In general, a CB unit can be cryopre‑       vate–public banking model for CB storage
served in public and private CB banks,         arises as a potential solution2. Alternatively,
exploited in non‑profit or commercial          cryopreservation of CB in strictly accredited
research institutes with consent, or dis‑      private or public CB for autologous usage
carded after delivery. The latter occurs in    can be subsidized by insurance companies
~99% of the cases — 130 million CB units       or governments. The solution may lie in
annually. Currently, there are 314,000 CB      Homer’s words: “If many men collocate,
units available in the World Marrow Donor      they’ll tell different opinions. Pay attention
Association (WMDA) for public storage          to the best one.”
and more than 800,000 CB units in private           *National Peripheral Tissue Typing Laboratory and
CB banks. Presently, there are not enough             Immunology Department, Hippokration General
                                                                       Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.
resources to accommodate, test, process
and store CB units from all 27,000 births                ‡
                                                          Erasmus MC, Faculty of Medicine and Health
                                                        Sciences, MGC-Department of Cell Biology and
each day in the United States, Europe and
                                                                Genetics, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Canada and 356,000 births daily all over the
                                                                           e-mails: panmag@otenet.gr;
world. That is the reason why, in its 2008
                                                                             g.patrinos@erasmusmc.nl
annual meeting, the WMDA established an
ad hoc ethics subcommittee to determine        1.   Sullivan, M. J. Banking on cord blood stem cells.
                                                    Nature Rev. Cancer 8, 555–563 (2008).
the combination of private and public          2.   Fisk, M. & Atun, R. Public–private partenship in cord
CB banking and to consider types of CB              blood banking. Br. Med. J. 336, 642–644 (2008).




NATUrE rEvIEWS | cancer                                                                                          www.nature.com/reviews/cancer

				
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