Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg: "The potential for cord blood to treat very serious illness now only begins to be understood"

”I believe that cord blood has a long development path ahead of it, what once was considered simply one of the many biological waste to be thrown out after birth is instead a precious source of stem cells, which one day can be used to save a life. Umbilical cord blood can in fact be harvested at birth, cryopreserved and used years later in the therapy of many pathologies and genetic disorders. Umbilical cord stem cells can be a key element in saving a patient's life and can replace stem cells taken from the bone marrow. I expect the use of these cells, both in autologous and allogeneic areas, to emerge as one of the greatest benefits of new therapies available within the next ten years. ”

Prof. Joanne Kurtzberg, President of the Cord Blood Association, Director of the Clinical and Translational Cell Therapy Program, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

It is with these words that Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, Chief Scientific Officer at Duke University, closes the article by talking about her own experience that has led her to examine it first and to use after stem cells of cord blood as an alternative source to those contained in the bone marrow.

Joanne Kurtzberg is considered one of the pioneers in the development and application of innovative therapies involving the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells.

Her interest in these cells was born during studies at Duke's oncology/pediatric hematology department. In those years, in fact, he was able to undertake his activity by treating teenage children and teenagers suffering from leukemia and other blood disorders such as Fanconi's anemia.

This experience has been summed up in a very interesting article published online on some sites like www.StemCellsTM.com or

In particular, Dr. Kurtzberg emphasizes that stem cells represent a tremendous potential in cell therapy and regenerative medicine; That is why - in one of the fundamental steps of the article - emphasizes the need to collect and cryopreservate these cells, unfortunately often considered as waste products while instead representing the bases for value therapies.

Therapeutic applications which, according to Dr. Kurtzberg, may involve cordonic stem cells in the future are many, including not only leukemia or other malignant diseases of the haematopoietic system but also bone marrow insufficiency, hereditary metabolic diseases, disorders of hemoglobin formation in infancy to type I diabetes, autoimmune diseases and brain lesions.

The importance of storing stem cells is again emphasized by scientific findings that leave no room for doubt.

Download the article in PDF


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