Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are holding a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of cord blood transplants that have been combined with a natural compound, FT1050. The research team believes that FT1050 will help to improve the engraftment of cord blood stem cells used in transplants treating a wide range of blood diseases.  
 
According to the study’s abstract, a shortcoming of cord blood stem cell transplants is that the cells often takes longer than bone marrow stem cells to introduce themselves into the patients’ systems. With a longer engraftment time, patients are left susceptible to complications, such as infection.  
 
By adding FT1050 to transplants, doctors hope to improve engraftment rates of cord blood stem cells. In preclinical trials, the natural compound has been proven to activate the stem cells so that engraftment occurs at a faster rate in patients who receive transplants.  
 
The clinical trial involved 12 patients, who received cord blood transplants with FT1050. The study found that transplants that took place with the natural compound saw engraftment up to four days earlier than those that did not involve FT1050.  
 
Research leader Corey Cutler is optimistic about the results of the trial:  
 
"We’re encouraged by the results of this study for patients receiving umbilical cord stem cell transplants after reduced-intensity chemotherapy treatment”.