Umbilical cord stem cell: an overview

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009 Apr;10(3):327-34. doi: 10.2174/138920109787847529.


In recent years, human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) has emerged as an attractive tool for cell-based therapy. Although at present the clinical application of human umbilical cord blood is limited to the fields of hematology and oncology, a rising number of studies show potential for further application in the treatment of non-hematopoietic diseases. Stem cells (SC) from umbilical cord blood (UCB) are now a new reliable alternative to treat different blood diseases, if the samples are frozen at the moment of birth. This procedure is an easy and safe way to preserve genetic materials for future therapeutic uses. It can be used as alternative to bone marrow. Human umbilical cord blood, with its real abundance, simple collection procedure and no serious ethical dilemmas, represents a valuable alternative to the use of other stem cell sources. The aim of this article is to review the literature on human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) and to assess its eventual usability in the treatment of diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Tissue Banks
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology


  • Antineoplastic Agents