Abstracts Reflect Research Diversity

“The accepted abstracts for Cord Blood Connect demonstrate the breadth of research and clinical trials under way in the cord blood and perinatal tissue regenerative medicine space,” said Colleen Delaney, MD, MSc, chair of the scientific program committee for the international congress that convenes Sept. 14-16 in Miami Beach.

“For example, an abstract in the clinical trials category compares treatment outcomes with licensed and unlicensed cord blood units,” she said. “Using data from a centralized cord blood registry, Dr. Karen Ballen and colleagues analyzed clinical

outcomes for 1,589 transplants from 2011 through 2014, the period when FDA began requiring that unrelated donor transplants be performed using either licensed cord blood units or unlicensed units under an IND. During this time frame, less than 5 percent of the transplanted units were licensed.

“The study documents excellent outcomes with the unlicensed cord blood units, making them a critically important source for hematopoietic cell transplant for patients who wouldn’t otherwise have a suitable donor,” Dr. Delaney said.

Other abstracts at the congress will report on topics as diverse as the use of cord tissue-derived MSCs targeting neuroinflammation, further description of a novel cell therapy product called “DUOC-01” to promote remyelination, preclinical experience important to cord blood banking around potency assays and cryopreservation, and the use of cord blood units as a blood transfusion in patients with thalassemia and HIV.

Recipients of Best Abstract awards will present their research orally during the “Pioneering Innovators” session on Saturday, Sept. 15. Afterwards, congress participants can talk with abstract authors at a Poster Session Reception.

The scientific program committee, chaired by Dr. Delaney who is director of the Program in Cord Blood Research and Transplantation, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has developed sessions including:

  • State of the science
  • Clinical outcomes overview
  • Advances in hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Engineering of cord blood grafts
  • Cord blood-derived immunotherapies
  • The potential power of mesenchymal stem cells
  • Emerging uses of cord blood in regenerative medicine
  • Understanding and optimizing approaches to regulation of cellular therapies
  • The innovators – original pioneers and today’s pioneers

Concurrent to the scientific sessions will be technical sessions with education and training for cord blood bank personnel, addressing topics such as bank administration, economics, collection, manufacturing, shipping, alternative uses, and education for health care professionals.

The international congress convenes Sept. 14-16 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Preview the complete agenda for the congress.