$12.6 million grant expands cord blood trial

Dr. Colleen Delaney, Associate Member in the Clinical Research Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Associate Professor in the division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Washington, has received a $12.6 million award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to test her pioneering method for expanded umbilical cord blood transplants in a clinical trial of 160 patients.

This phase 2 multicenter trial – headquartered at the Hutchinson Center – builds on the success of Delaney’s original studies that have demonstrated the technique’s power in 20 patients.

The first trial using expanded cells required that the cord blood unit used to generate the expanded cells be at least partially matched to the patient and the process of cell expansion had to occur while the patient was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments needed prior to the transplant. While this approach demonstrated that the median time to blood count recovery was cut in half in patients receiving the expanded cells, the process is logistically difficult and does not easily allow patients around the country access to this approach.

Delaney’s new trial will compare patients undergoing cord blood transplants with or without the expanded, off-the-shelf products. Her study will ask whether patients who receive expanded cord blood cell transplants repopulate their immune and blood cells more quickly and whether the universal donor products provide clinical benefit to the patient in reducing infections, toxicity and length of their hospital stay.

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