CorCell, one of the nation's foremost umbilical cord blood banking facilities, located in Philadelphia has successfully completed one of the first transplants of 13 separately donated umbilical cord blood collections into one 350 lb. adult patient suffering from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.
The transplant was unique in several respects. The blood was grouped solely by "blood type" as opposed to the common HLA matching process which is used in bone marrow transplants. The transplant is also unique in that it is one of the first incidences of umbilical cord blood being transplanted into a larger adult. Typically the valuable blood has been transplanted into individuals weighing under 95 pounds, children.
The patient, 45 year-old Michael Giordano, is doing very well, having left the hospital and returned home, in late June, just four weeks after the monumental two-day transplant. Mr. Giordano expressed his gratitude to the thirteen sets of parents, who donated their child's cord blood, CorCell, his physician, Dr. Gryn, and the staff at the hospital by saying, "Thank you, I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for a lot of wonderful people."
CorCell and Dr. Gryn began this "non-matched" research project late in 1997, collecting the umbilical cord blood donated by some 50 women immediately following the births of their newborns. CorCell then tested the blood which was then stored cryogenically.
Umbilical cord blood, containing the rich properties found in bone marrow, is now being collected for the express purpose of treating serious diseases such as leukemia and other forms of cancer. The blood is then stored either privately for future use by the family storing the blood, or in a public banking facility. In their three years of operation, CorCell has seen a dramatic increase in umbilical cord blood storage. CorCell has made collections in over 500 hospitals in 48 states.