November 2, 2009 – At a recent a symposium entitled "Umbilical Cord Blood: An Alternative for Bone Marrow Transplantation in Adults," bone marrow transplantation experts Professor Patrick Stiff and Professor Guillermo Sanz addressed the importance of investigating cord blood stem cells as an alternative source for treating patients with leukemia and lymphoma.
An investigational product now in clinical testing worldwide called StemEx (r) is showing promise as an alternative therapy. StemEx is a graft of an expanded population of stem/progenitor cells derived from part of a single unit of umbilical cord blood and transplanted intravenously, along with the remaining unit of non-manipulated cells.
"The problem is that in the case of a bone marrow transplant, it takes too much time from transplant to engraftment. And, the longer the time to engraftment, the more risk of complications," explained Professor Sanz. "Cord blood offers a real alternative to bone marrow. And, cell dose is the most critical function of a cord blood transplant. The main advantage of StemEx, therefore, is that is offers a reliable investigational product and can provide a high rate of expansion, 200x of the amount of stem cells. We think that StemEx will likely result in a shorter time to engraftment and even potentially generate better results than bone marrow transplantation in the long