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Cord Blood: Establishing a National Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank Program
In 1992, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) recognized the need for a dedicated inventory of cord blood units for patients lacking an HLA-matched sibling and established a program for public cord blood banking (Rubinstein et al., 1998). In 1998, NYBC published a report summarizing the results of the first 562 transplants performed with units from its inventory. The results, primarily pediatric cases, indicated consistent engraftment, low rates of GVHD, and survival rates that appeared to be similar to those obtained with bone marrow transplantation (Rubinstein et al., 1998). Other banks were soon established, and today there are at least 40 cord blood banks in the United States. Of those known banks, 20 store donations for unrelated transplants. (More information about all banks can be found in Appendix C.) The remaining banks are private; that is, they store cord blood at the expense of the donor for potential future use by the donor or a member of the donor’s family.
In 1998, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which also recognized the potential of cord blood as an alternative graft source, extended its network to include cord blood banks (GAO, 2002). NMDP grew out of the congressionally established National Bone Marrow Donor Registry (NBMDR), which began operation in July 1986. The Organ Transplants Amendment Act of 1988 reauthorized NBMDR by directing the establishment of a national registry. In June 1988, the NBMDR board changed the name to the National Marrow Donor Program. In 1990, NMDP became a separate nonprofit organization and took over the administration of the federal contract from the American Red Cross. The Transplant Amendments Act of 1990 further defined and expanded the functions of NMDP. The act wrote into law the network of centers, addressed the need for diversity, consolidated all of the registries, and established a system for patient advocacy.8 At present, 14 cord blood banks in the United States and internationally are affiliated with NMDP.9
Those banks are the American Red Cross North Central Blood Services in St. Paul, Minnesota; American Red Cross Western Area Community Cord Blood Bank in Portland, Oregon; Ashley Ross Cord Blood Program of the San Diego Blood Bank in San Diego, California; Bonfils Cord Blood Services, Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center in Denver, Colorado; Carolinas Cord Blood Bank in Durham, North Carolina; Children’s Hospital of Orange County Cord Blood Bank in Orange, California; ITxM Cord Blood Services in Glenview, Illinois; J.P. McCarthy Cord Stem Cell Bank in Detroit, Michigan; LifeCord in Gainesville, Florida; New Jersey Cord Blood Bank at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, New Jersey; Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle, Washington; St. Louis Cord Blood Bank in St. Louis, Missouri; StemCyte International Cord Blood Center in Arcardia, California; and StemCyte Taiwan National Cord Blood Center in Taipei County, Taiwan.