Increasing the Cure Count
CHORI President Invited to Join National Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
CHORI ushered in the new year in January with the exciting news that CHORI president, Bertram Lubin, MD, has been invited by the United States Secretary of Health to join the Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (ACBSCT), a select group of 25 individuals who as a committee advise the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
“This group provides advice to the Secretary of Health on both the National Marrow Donor Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory Program. The ultimate goal is to be sure that anyone who needs a bone marrow transplant for any type of disease is able to find a donor,” explains Dr. Lubin.
An ideal choice for ACBSCT, Dr. Lubin pioneered the only not-for-profit sibling donor cord blood program in the world. Cord blood, rich in stem cells that can be harvested from the placenta and umbilical cord after birth, can be used as an alternative to bone marrow in transplantation for debilitating conditions.
"Compared to bone marrow collection, cord blood collection is non-invasive, painless, less expensive and relatively simple," says Dr. Lubin.
Established by Dr. Lubin in 1998 with support from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Sibling Donor Cord Blood (SDCB) program at CHORI has gone on to help countless children and their families survive previously life-threatening conditions. By participating in ACBSCT, Dr. Lubin hopes to be a part of the drive to increase the cure count on a national scale by creating greater access.
"Currently, it's estimated that almost 10,000 people per year die who can benefit from a transplant but don't have access," says Dr. Lubin. "The combined efforts of the National Marrow Donor Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory Program should address this problem."
Members of ACBSCT will provide expertise on, and recommendations for, national policy regarding the size and composition of the adult donor pool available through these national programs, issues related to the administration of the national program, and policies relating to increased donations, greater access to transplantation, and research on emerging therapies that utilize blood stem cells.
As Dr. Lubin says, "It's an excellent opportunity to work with other leaders in the United States in this field, as well as to spread the word about the fabulous work that's being done here at CHORI."
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM