Singapore Cord Blood Bank facilitates 100th unrelated cord transplant

PHOTO: Singapore Cord Blood Bank facilitates 100th unrelated cord transplant

The Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB) performed its 100th unrelated cord blood transplant seven years after it first opened in 2005.

The only public cord bank in South East Asia facilitated the procedure on an adult suffering from the blood disorder Myelodysplastic Syndrome, which is caused by a lack of red blood cells.

Since its first procedure on a toddler with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the SCBB has performed unrelated blood stem cell transplants for a total of 45 children and 55 adults in Singapore and overseas.

A national broadcaster reported that bank is now hoping for more donors to come forward to increase transplant rates for ethnic minority groups.

In a statement to AsiaOne, the SCBB said that 65 to 80 per cent of Asian patients world-wide are unable to find a suitable cord blood stem cell match to treat their diseases due to a lack of donors with Asian lineage.

"With only a one in four chance match, or 25 per cent, amongst siblings, patients would soon succumb to their diseases should this life-saving resource be unavailable," it said.

Cord blood is a rich source of self renewing blood stem cells that can give rise to different matured blood cell type. Cord blood stem cells have been proven to be effectively treat blood related cancers and genetic and metabolic disorders.