The University of California, San Francisco and GE Healthcare Life Sciences have teamed up to work on a cord blood project. After receiving a research grant from the Office of the President of the University of California, a group of researchers will embark on a three-year project to expand the use of cord blood therapy.
The main goal of the project is to track progenitor cells in cord blood, which could help to increase the number of stem cells which can be derived from a single sample. They will also be tracking chemical compounds which they could possibly add to the stem cells.
Being able to increase the number of stem cells derived from cord blood is important in the treatment of adults with blood diseases. According to Dr. Leavitt, who is the lead researcher and medical director of UCSF Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Laboratory, cord blood is suitable in pediatric cases but does not provide enough stem cells for adult patients.
The objective of the study is an ambitious one. Should the research prove successful, the scientists will have found a way for a single cord blood unit to completely replace a diseased blood system in adults. It could change face of treatment for diseases like lymphoma and leukemia.