Maternity units and private firms, which collect umbilical cord
blood to preserve stem cells, are being warned they could be acting outside the law.
Researchers were "now finding more uses for blood donations taken from the umbilical cord
at birth," he said.
The pioneering move using umbilical cords
by haematologists at Heartlands Hospital is giving new hope to blood cancer patients, many of whom have died because they were unable to find a bone marrow donor.
Pauline had stem cells transplanted from an umbilical cord
New avenues of clinical investigation underscore the potential importance of umbilical cord
stem cells and their efficacy in human subjects.
His comments, published in the British Medical Journal, add to the controversy over whether the umbilical cord
should be cut immediately after birth.
The law requires HRSA to establish the demonstration project for qualified cord blood banks to collect and store at no charge to families, umbilical cord
blood units for families where a first-degree relative has been diagnosed with a condition that may benefit from blood stem cell transplantation.
The use of umbilical cord
stem cells is not currently available in Britain because the Government wants more research.
According to the study: "Now we know that at this critical time when organs, vessels, membranes, and systems are knit together from single cells to finished form in a span of weeks, the umbilical cord
carries not only the building blocks of life, but also a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants, and pesticides that cross the placenta as readily as residues from cigarettes and alcohol.
What is preventing far broader use of umbilical cord
blood stem cells is not an ethical concern, or any lack of evidence of clinical benefits, but simply a lack of funding and access," said the cardinal.
Adult" stem cells are derived from several sources, including umbilical cord
blood and human fat.
Researchers around the world are reporting remarkable success in using umbilical cord
stem cells to treat conditions as varied as spinal cord injury and leukemia.