Public Cord Blood Banks Around the World
2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the first cord blood transplant. Over the past 2½ decades, physicians and scientists have continued to improve transplant techniques and develop new and innovative applications. Now, cord blood stem cells are routinely used by many transplant physicians around the world. Cord blood banks have helped to increase the number of available units.
The first public cord blood banks were established as far back as 19922. Many countries developed national public cord blood banking programs during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. As of 2011, 156 active public cord blood banks have been established in 58 different countries including Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Demark, Germany, United States and England. Canada now has 3 public cord blood banks: HemaQuebec (7 hospitals in Quebec), Canadian Blood Services (5 hospitals) and Victoria Angel Registry of Hope (>30 hospitals in Southern Ontario)
Canada is one of the top ten highest users of cord blood in the world. Unfortunately the inventory of stem cell units in Canadian public cord blood banks is not adequate. Victoria Angel has the expertise to change this. The infrastructure is in place to ramp up operations as financial support is received. In the meantime, the sad reality is that people will die as they desperately search for a suitable stem cell transplant.
In 2012, the number of cord blood transplants surpassed the number of bone marrow transplants performed in the USA.National Marrow Donor Program, 2012 Annual Report
2 Rubinstein et al, The Placental/Umbilical Cord Blood Program of the New York Blood Center. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999: 872:328-34