The use of cord blood over time


1963 — First human cancer treatment with umbilical cord blood from 17 babies was infused into an adult woman with metastatic sarcoma; she improved for a while but died in March 1964.

1970 — The first attempt to treat a leukemia patient by transplanting umbilical cord blood, drawn from eight different babies. When the transplant didn't work, the patient, a 16-year-old boy, was successfully treated with conventional chemotherapy.

1988 — Studies led by Edward A. Boyse indicate that umbilical cord blood can be transplanted instead of bone marrow to reconstitute the human immune system.

1988 — First successful transplant of umbilical cord blood is performed in France for Matthew Farrow, a 5-year-old American boy with Fanconi's anemia. The procedure was typical of modern transplants, in that stem cells from a single donor, Farrow's newborn sister, were infused following intensive chemotherapy.

1992 — The first cord blood unit placed into long-term private storage. David Harris, Ph.D., the founder of Cord Blood Registry, stored the umbilical cord blood of his newborn son Alexandre.

1993 — The first cord blood transplant using blood from an unrelated donor was performed in the United States in 1993. The cord blood came from the New York Blood Center, the world's first public cord blood bank.

1999 — The National Marrow Donor Program began to also operate a registry (or database) of cord blood donations.

2003 — Frozen 15-year-old cord blood is proven to be just as good as fresh cord blood, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

2004 — Illinois is the first state to automatically offer pregnant women the option of cord blood donation.

2004 — All public and private cord blood banks must be registered with the FDA.

2005 — Congress passes the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 to create a national program of cord blood banking. The government is required to assist in the collection and maintenance of 150,000 new units of high-quality cord blood to be made available for transplantation through the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.

2005 — Sibling Donor Cord Blood Program at Children's Hospital of Oakland is the first program in the U.S. that is federally funded to offer free cord blood banking to siblings of children with transplantable diseases.

2009 — The Family Cord Blood Banking Act is introduced by Congressman Ron Kind (D-Wis.), It would allow umbilical cord blood banking services to be a tax deductible medical expense.

2009 — The Cord Blood Education and Awareness Act of 2009 was introduced by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). The bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop methods for better educating expectant parents about their options for donating or banking their child's cord blood.

Source: Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation

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