Conflict of interest: MK is Medical Director of Cell Care Australia.
Feasibility of trialling cord blood stem cell treatments for cerebral palsy in Australia
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014
© 2014 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2014 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 50, Issue 7, pages 540–544, July 2014
How to Cite
Crompton, K. E., Elwood, N., Kirkland, M., Clark, P., Novak, I. and Reddihough, D. (2014), Feasibility of trialling cord blood stem cell treatments for cerebral palsy in Australia. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50: 540–544. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12618
- Issue published online: 7 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 JAN 2014
- CP Alliance
- John T Reid Charitable Trusts
- cerebral palsy;
- data linkage;
- developmental disabilities;
- umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation
Umbilical cord blood may have therapeutic benefit in children with cerebral palsy (CP), but further studies are required. On first appearance it seems that Australia is well placed for such a trial because we have excellence in CP research backed by extensive CP registers, and both public and private cord blood banks. We aimed to examine the possibilities of conducting a trial of autologous umbilical cord blood cells (UCBCs) as a treatment for children with CP in Australia.
Data linkages between CP registers and cord blood banks were used to estimate potential participant numbers for a trial of autologous UCBCs for children with CP.
As of early 2013, one Victorian child with CP had cord blood stored in the public bank, and between 1 and 3 children had their cord blood stored at Cell Care Australia (private cord blood bank). In New South Wales, we counted two children on the CP register who had their stored cord blood available in early 2013. We estimate that there are between 10 and 24 children with CP of any type who have autologous cord blood available across Australia.
In nations with small populations like Australia, combined with Australia's relatively low per capita cord blood storage to date, it is not currently feasible to conduct trials of autologous UCBCs for children with CP. Other options must be explored, such as allogeneic UCBCs or prospective trials for neonates at risk of CP.