Toronto, ON – Researchers at the University of Montreal and University of Toronto have identified a new method for the ex vivo expansion of human cord blood cells that could potentially increase the number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) available for use in the clinic.
HSC transplantation is a curative therapy for several hematopoietic cancers and is normally performed using cord blood cells when the recipient and donor are not perfectly matched. Unfortunately cord blood samples often contain limited HSCs, which can affect the success of the transplant and increase mortality following transplantation.
A study published in Science, led by University of Montreal scientist Dr. Guy Sauvageau and coauthored by McEwen Centre Researchers Drs. Norman Iscove and Peter Zandstra has shown that a newly identified aryl hydrocarbon receptor inhibitor known as UM171 promotes ex vivo expansion of cord blood cells. The researchers showed that cells expanded using UM171, when transplanted, are able to reconstitute human hematopoiesis in immunocompromised mice for at least six months.