Cord Blood Transplant
Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion Therapy for Brain Injuries and Disorders
Duke’s pediatric blood and bone marrow transplant specialists are internationally renowned experts in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. We are engaged in multiple clinical trials exploring the potential of umbilical cord blood for treatment of brain injuries and disorders such as autism and cerebral palsy. Each year, we perform approximately 400 cord blood transplants on children in hopes of improving cognition, mobility, speech, and other functions to improve their quality of life.
Unlocking the Healing Power of Umbilical Cord Blood
Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of stem cells -- immature, blood-producing cells found in blood and bone marrow. Scientists believe that selected cord blood cells produce chemicals that travel to the brain, where they signal brain cells to reduce inflammation or stimulate the formation of new connections between nerve cells called neurons. In addition to offering hope for young children with autism and cerebral palsy, cord blood infusion therapy may hold promise for other brain injuries, including encephalopathy in newborns and stroke in adults.
- For more than a decade, our team has been involved in experimental and compassionate treatments through autologous infusions, which use a child’s own cord blood. A new procedure starting soon will expand access for autologous and sibling infusions and will replace compassionate cord blood infusions.
- Duke is home to the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, one of the largest public cord blood banks in the world. The bank allows “directed donations,” in which the cord blood can be saved for a family member with certain serious medical conditions.