Kids with Cancer Foundation's enormously generous donation of $500,000 in 2003 to Australia's first stem cell facility, the "Sydney Cord Blood Bank", greatly assisted with the capital funding needed to open this facility, without your donation there would be no Stem Cell Facility (Sydney Cord Blood Bank).
Thanks to that support the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick has established Australia’s first Stem Cell facility dedicated to the treatment of children’s diseases. Through the innovative use of non-embryonic stem cells, the Hospital will lead the world in the treatment of children’s cancer. Your contribution has enabled us to build this new facility. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity you have allowed CCC&BD to pave the way forward in this innovative treatment (Sydney Children's Hospital).
Stem transplant is often the only curative option for paediatric patients with high risk or relapsed cancers and for many non-malignant diseases including immunedeficiency disorders, marrow failure, metabolic diseases and thalassemia.
Our research team has a broad portfolio aimed at improving successful outcomes through preclinical and clinical initiatives. Specific barriers including engraftment, infection, graft versus host disease, supportive care, relapse, quality standards and medication safety are key areas ofongoing research.
What is Cord blood & how is it used
Cord Blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after delivery of the baby and after the umbilical cord is cut. This blood has provided the baby with nutrition while in the womb but after birth is no longer needed and would normally be discarded. It is collected from the umbilical cord vein in an average volume of about 90mL. This collection is performed without disturbing the normal delivery practice and is therefore not harmful to the mother and baby.
The cord blood is rich in blood stem cells. These stem cells are the building blocks for blood cells. They are normally found in the bone marrow, which can perpetually produce the blood cells found in the circulating blood (white cells, red blood cells and platelets). Cord blood can be frozen and stored (banked) for over 20 years without loss of potency to the blood stem cells. Cord blood is therefore an alternative source of blood stem cells to bone marrow.
Bone marrow transplantation is a curative treatment for many otherwise fatal diseases such as cancer (including leukaemia and lymphoma), immune deficiency, aplastic anaemia and thalassaemia. The problem is the bone marrow donor has to be compatible and the white cells rigorously matched in their tissue type (the equivalent to ABO blood groups on red cells). Only about half the patients needing a bone marrow transplant can find a suitable compatible donor. Cord blood stem cells do not need such rigorous matching, making cord blood a versatile option for stem cell transplant.
During the past 25 years, over 10,000 cord blood transplants have been undertaken in both children and adults. Initially cord blood transplants were performed as a last resort for patients where there was no compatible bone marrow donor and the patients would have died without a transplant. However, there were survivors, and now, over 25 years later, and with increasing experience, it is clear that cord blood transplantation is not a last resort treatment but an alternative to bone marrow, and in many situations the preferred option.
Cord Blood Transplant is a curative treatment for diseases such as:
• Immune deficiency
• Acute and chronic leukaemia's
• Some haematological malignancies
• Blood diseases such as Aplastic and Fanconi Anaemia
• Metabolic Storage diseases
More diseases are being treated with Cord Blood Transplant. Consult your Haematologist or Oncologist for additional information.