NEW YORK, November 25, 2004 ( – A new study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which scientists from the National Cord Blood Program of the New York Blood Center (NYBC) participated, showed that stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood (normally discarded with the afterbirth when a baby is born) provide an effective transplant treatment for adult patients with leukemia or myelodysplasia.  Patients who received a cord blood unit with a one or two HLA antigen mismatch did as well as those who were given a bone marrow transplant with one antigen mismatch from an unrelated donor. Patients transplanted with bone marrow that was fully matched did better than the other patients, but there were no fully matched cord blood recipients for comparison. Cord blood is already well accepted as a source of hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cell transplants for children.  New York Blood Center’s National Cord Blood Program scientists, Pablo Rubinstein, M.D., and Cladd E. Stevens, M.D., were part of a team led by Mary J. Laughlin, M.D., lead author on the study and hematologist/oncologist at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and University Hospitals of Cleveland Ireland Cancer Center, and in collaboration with Mary Horowitz, M.D., Scientific Director of the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry.  Jhw