Transplantation of allogeneic bone marrow has been successfully used in the treatment of high risk or recurrent hematologic malignancies, bone marrow failure syndromes, selected hereditary immunodeficiency states and metabolic disorders. Early in the history of bone marrow transplantation, it was clear that access to a suitable donor was a major obstacle severely limiting the use of this potentially curative treatment modality. Although using an HLA sibling donor is the best choice for transplantation, not all patients could have access to such a donor, therefore transplant centers explored the possibility of using volunteer adult unrelated donors as an alternative to HLA–matched siblings. In addition, there was another alternative treatment strategy as a source of hematopoietic stem cell namely Umbilical Cord Blood. In Saudi Arabia, 60 percent of our patients who need a transplant will find an HLA-matched sibling donor, leaving 40 percent of the patients in need of alternative sources. The concept of establishing a Cord Blood Bank in Saudi Arabia under the umbrella of King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre was raised after the increase in the rate of using cord blood for transplantation due to the inability of finding fully or closely HLA-matched related donors. This Cord Blood Bank is a non-profit public cord blood bank dedicated to making high quality cord blood units available to all patients in need of related and/or unrelated transplantation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the neighboring countries through the development and maintenance of a center of excellence for the collection, storage, search and distribution of ethnically and racially diverse cord blood units. Additionally, the mission of the Cord Blood Bank is to educate both the medical community and the public to the value of cord blood donation collection and cryopreservation, and increase the awareness of the importance of cord blood banking. To date, our inventory consists of 3,725 units of high quality cord blood with a total of 70 cord blood transplants carried out from our own inventory.


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  • Received: 05 March 2012
  • Accepted: 28 March 2012
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