The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is proud to inaugurate today its new Clinical Research Cord Blood Bank, which represents both the end result of an important project and the starting point for future research. This new comprehensive tool will be used to collect and store umbilical cord blood which do not meet the collection standards of the bank managed by Héma-Québec. These cord blood samples will be used exclusively for research projects on stem cells. Ms. Linda Peltier will be responsible for the administrative management of the Cord Blood Bank, while Dr. Pierre Laneuville will act as medical director for the laboratory. Dr. Richard Brown will oversee the obstetrics component of the project and Dr. Ahmed Galal will act as director of stem cell transplants.
The MUHC Clinical Research Cord Blood Bank will partner with the Public Cord Blood Bank of Héma-Québec. This alliance will allow to collect and use all samples provided by donor mothers. Currently, Héma-Québec only keeps donations above 85-ml and 1 billion stem cells, which is considered the minimum amount required for a successful stem cell transplant. The amount of blood extracted per donation is usually no more than 120 ml-a graft size that is sufficient for a child but not for an adult. Because of its limited potential in treating adults, this technique is mainly used in pediatric medicine.
The goal of the MUHC Cord Blood Bank for Clinical Research is to collect and store donations that do not meet the collection standards of the bank managed by Héma-Québec. These donations will be used to develop a transplant technique for adults using stem cells from cord blood. The team has assembled every tool at its disposal to develop an innovative technology that will combine multiple donations to create a graft of adequate size.
"The success of this project will open the door for the use of a wider variety of donations and will allow many patients to receive needed treatment that much sooner, thus saving many lives. We are extremely grateful to our donors who have supported this project," stated Linda Peltier.
The MUHC Cord Blood Bank will be funded entirely by donations from the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation. These donors are:
- The Molson Foundation
- Deirdre & Robert Stevenson
- The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation
- The R. Howard Webster Foundation
- The Cedars Cancer Institute
- The Peter Assaly Memorial Fund
- The Zeller Family Foundation
- Microban Inc.
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University--the Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge. (www.muhc.ca).
Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation. Héma-Québec is 1,300 employees, some 3,000 days of blood drives and more than 300,000 blood donors each year, 16,000 volunteer partners and 400,000 blood products delivered each year to Québec hospitals to meet patients' needs. (www.hema-quebec.qc.ca).