Purpose of review: Herein, we seek to describe the current and future role of ex-vivo expansion of cord blood hematopoietic stem cells.
Recent findings: As this field is only in its infancy, there have been many challenges identified. Decreased number of stem cells contained in a cord blood unit and early differentiation of stem cells once expanded have been two overarching challenges faced by the field. Many recent techniques have focused on the properties of the microenvironment and targetable cellular pathways as novel approaches to circumvent these challenges.
Summary: Novel discoveries have led to the development of approaches that will increase hematopoietic stem cell yield and will improve engraftment in patients receiving cord blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. As a result, patients receiving cord blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantationcontinue to have improved outcomes.