The overall success of hematopoietic (blood) stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is determined by the number of stem cells that successfully engraft. Strategies to improve engraftment and reduce complications, especially from cord blood stem cells, include targeted homing of stem cells toward the bone marrow or boosting total stem cell numbers prior to transplant. Currently, the most common and effective method to achieve this is expansion of stem cells in the lab increase their numbers prior to transplantation.
A report assembled by the healthcare consulting group, Novateur, outlined the following requirements for an ideal blood stem cell enhancement technique:
- Demonstrates clinical benefit (shortening time of engraftment, rapid immune reconstitution)
- Safety without specific side effects (no graft failure, no Graft-versus-Host-Disease; GvHD)
- Eliminates need for a second non-manipulated cord blood unit
- Durable, long-term multilineage engraftment
- Easy adoption by transplant centers
ExCellThera, a leader in current research to improve graft engineering and patient outcomes, has added the following characteristics to the above list:
- Use of smaller, better HLA-matched cords that will reduce GvHD, accelerate blood cell reconstitution, reduce incidence of infection and improve long-term survival.
- Co-expansion of immune cells with the potential to prevent disease relapse (Graft vs. Tumor effect) and possibly viral infections (Graft vs. Infection effect)
- Immuno- and ell therapy designs: Using expansion process modulation, optimize graft engineering to address the specific needs of various illnesses:
- Blood cancers: more stem cells and more enhanced immune cells will improve transplant success and reduce complications
- Congenital anemias: Uses a gene therapy approach to ensure longer stem cell survival and long-lasting effects of transplant
- Auto-immune disease: Increased numbers of stem cells with fewer auto-reactive ones will make complications disappear