Cord Blood Connect 2018 provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the world’s first cord blood stem cell transplant. Everyone involved, including Matthew Farrow himself who was 5 years old at the time, came together in Miami to share the latest advances in cord blood transplantation.
President of the Cord Blood Association, Dr Joanne Kurtzberg said, “We want this meeting to invigorate and inspire the cord blood community.” It certainly did. Patients Gregg Gordon from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and David Hall from Duke University Department of Medicine joined Matthew Farrow in sharing their experiences and thanked their donors. Farrow received his own life-saving treatment from his baby sister’s stem cells.
The highlight of the day and an emotional moment for the entire community was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement award to Dr Eliane Gluckman for her role in Farrow’s successful stem cell transplant.
Dr Hal Broxmeyer, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, described the excitement of finding so many HSCs in cord blood 36 years ago. Brockmeyer joined his colleagues both on the stage and in a commemorative certificate awarded to cord blood stem cell pioneers.Cord Blood Connect 2018 was not just about celebrating the past. All assembled were keen to share knowledge and insights into both cord blood and tissue research and clinical studies to continue to enhance and save lives.
Dr. Jessica Sun reviewed the results of a phase-1 study for sibling Allogenic cord blood units infusion in cerebral palsy patients, describing an observed improvement in gross motor skills in patients who had received the infusion.
Quality in collection, processing and storage was also a key topic, with a session by Ngaire Elwood was praised by attendees.
Cord Blood Connect is an international conference that embraces all components of the cord blood community organised by the Cord Blood Association (CBA). The conference brings together the many people and organizations worldwide that engage in, or are served by, the banking of cord blood. The CBA have recently published a set of standards to facilitate safe, high-quality cord blood collection, processing and storage.
#cordbloodconnect on Twitter with photos by @stemcyte and @WMDA_office