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Keywords:

  • stem cell transplantation;
  • umbilical cord blood;
  • alternative stem cell sources

Summary

Umbilical cord blood has rapidly become a valuable alternative stem cell source for allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Extensive research over the last 20 years has established the safety and efficacy of umbilical cord blood transplantation in both children and adults with a variety of malignant and non-malignant diseases. This research has clearly shown that this stem cell source has several unique characteristics resulting in distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to transplantation with unrelated bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. This article reviews the most recent literature comparing the outcomes after umbilical cord blood transplantation with other alternative stem cell sources.