In 1982, the American scientist H. Broxmeier made a revolutionary report that umbilical cord blood is a source of hemopoietic stem cells and can be considered as an alternative to bone marrow transplant for the treatment of malignant and genetically determined hematopoietic diseases. In 1988 in Paris Professor Elian Gluckman performed the world’s first transplantation of hemopoietic umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of Fanconi anemia in a child. The success of this operation attracted considerable attention of the medical community, led to the emergence of umbilical cord blood banks and played an important role in the shaping of the biotechnology industry as a whole.
Today, umbilical cord blood stem cells are used to treat about 100 diseases, and are officially recognized as an alternative to bone marrow by the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT).
In order to raise the awareness of future parents and medical staff about the value of umbilical cord blood, the possibility of its storage and clinical use, July in the United States for many years has been officially considered as the the cord blood awareness month. Today, this initiative has been taken up by other countries, so during July, the world is actively holding numerous educational events, lectures, consultations with public and medical organizations, which tell about the latest scientific discoveries in cell therapy, umbilical cord blood banks, government biobanking programs. One of the active promoters of umbilical cord blood storage and clinical use is Matthew Farrow, the world’s first patient to receive this unique biomaterial 32 years ago. Thanks to umbilical cord blood, a man leads a full life.
In Ukraine, the Association of Cryobanks of the Umbilical Cord Blood, Other Human Cells and Tissues supports the cord blood awareness month and invites future parents to learn more about the value of umbilical cord blood stem cells, umbilical cord and placenta and the possibility of biomaterial long-term storage in licensed biobanks.