The purpose of this meeting is to present an update of the clinical results of umbilical cord blood haematopoietic transplant and the prospects of therapeutic use of cord blood platelet gel (CBPG), a new blood component recently developed at the Fondazione Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan. Research on CBPG started in 2009, in view of the fact that only 10% of the CB units collected for haematopoietic transplant purposes contain a sufficient number of stem cells to justify their high long-term banking costs. It therefore seemed convenient not to waste a neonatal biological material which is so rich in tissue growth factors (known and unknown), has such great therapeutic potential, and is so readily available. As a result, a national project has been promoted by the Centro Nazionale Sangue (National Blood Centre) to standardise the production of this new blood component in public cord blood banks in Italy and Spain. Within the framework of this project, the public cord blood banks belonging to the Italian network have so far produced and characterized about 1200 units of CBPG suitable for clinical use. In addition to a discussion on technical issues related to the preparation and characterization of CBPG, topics of clinical interest will be addressed including the treatment of skin ulcers with CBPG in different conditions including diabetes and haematological diseases and the potential for a therapeutic use of eye-drops obtained from cord blood plasma (cord blood eye drops - CBED) for the treatment of patients affected by corneal lesions.
Paolo Rebulla, MD President of the Meeting