Mind and Body

FDA Approves Cord Blood Therapy


The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it approved the first product using umbilical cord blood for stem cell transplant procedures.

Hemacord was approved for stem cell transplantation used to treat certain types of blood cancer and inherited immune system disorders.

Umbilical cord blood is one of three sources of stem cells that can turn into a variety of blood cell types. The two other sources are bone marrow and peripheral blood. Once infused into patients, the stem cells are absorbed into bone marrow, where they reproduce. After maturing, the cells move into the blood stream and can help strengthen the immune system.

Hemacord was developed by the New York Blood Center.