Double Cord Blood Transplantation
The Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) program at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin has served adult patients since 1981 and pediatric patients since 1982.
What is double umbilical cord blood transplantation?
Double umbilical cord blood transplantation is an increasingly viable option for patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma or other serious blood diseases.
The technique is appropriate for many adults who do not have a suitably-matched related or unrelated donor. The umbilical cord blood collected following the delivery of a baby contains a large number of blood-forming stem cells that can be used for blood stem cell transplantation.
The number of stem cells contained within one unit of umbilical cord blood is insufficient to repopulate the bone marrow of an adult. However, studies show that combining two umbilical cord products can provide a sufficient number of stem cells to ensure the growth of new bone marrow following transplantation.
Umbilical cord blood units are collected and stored in cord blood banks throughout the world and are accessible through the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and other cord blood registries.
Double Umbilical Cord Transplantation at UW Hospital and Clinics
UW Hospital and Clinics currently offers double umbilical cord transplantation to adults up to age 70 who have various forms of blood cancer. Our physicians are using two approaches to treat patients for transplantation.
- Myeloablative Treatment: Uses an aggressive conditioning regimen of chemotherapy and total body irradiation (TBI) prior to transplantation. This treatment is suitable for otherwise healthy patients under age 50.
- Reduced Intensity Transplantation: For older patients and patients with other co-morbidities, physicians use a milder form of chemotherapy, and a single low dose of total body irradiation prior to the transplantation.
How can I obtain information about donating and/or storing an umbilical cord?
UW Heath does not have a cord blood bank or cord collection program. Please go to the National Marrow Donor Program for comprehensive information on umbilical cord blood donation and storage options.
Graft Versus Host Disease
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a complication that can occur after stem cell transplant in which the newly transplanted cells attack the transplant recipient's body. Research studies suggest that in ouble umbilical cord blood transplantation, GVHD may occur less often and in a less severe form than in other types of donor transplantation