Collection of sibling donor cord blood for children with thalassemia

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2000 Nov-Dec;22(6):602-4. doi: 10.1097/00043426-200011000-00031.


Bone marrow transplantation has curative potential for patients with thalassemia major who have a matched sibling marrow donor, but usefulness of alternative stem cell sources is undergoing investigation. Cord blood (CB) from a sibling has different characteristics from marrow and has potential advantages and disadvantages as a stem cell source. Whereas many families caring for a child with thalassemia major (or other transplant-treatable condition) experience an additional pregnancy, most give birth at hospitals without the infrastructure needed to collect and process the new infant's CB. To address this, and with funding from the National Institutes of Health, we have developed the first noncommercial CB program, operating across the United States, designed specifically to facilitate medically indicated CB collections from sibling donors. Using a case-management model, we have collected CB for 25 thalassemia families in eight states. Three of these CB units have now been used for transplantation; two others are human leukocyte antigen-identical and contain adequate nucleated cell dose to perform transplantation in their intended recipient. We conclude that a CB bank focused on sibling donations may be a useful stem cell resource and that families with specific medical need, such as a child with thalassemia, should consider preserving CB from siblings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nuclear Family
  • Placenta
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting
  • beta-Thalassemia / therapy*