Mesenchymal progenitor cells in human umbilical cord blood
Haemopoiesis is sustained by two main cellular components, the haematopoietic cells (HSCs) and the mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs). MPCs are multipotent and are the precursors for marrow stroma, bone, cartilage, muscle and connective tissues. Although the presence of HSCs in umbilical cord blood (UCB) is well known, that of MPCs has been not fully evaluated. In this study, we examined the ability of UCB harvests to generate in culture cells with characteristics of MPCs. Results showed that UCB‐derived mononuclear cells, when set in culture, gave rise to adherent cells, which exhibited either an osteoclast‐ or a mesenchymal‐like phenotype. Cells with the osteoclast phenotype were multinucleated, expressed TRAP activity and antigens CD45 and CD51/CD61. In turn, cells with the mesenchymal phenotype displayed a fibroblast‐like morphology and expressed several MPC‐related antigens (SH2, SH3, SH4, ASMA, MAB 1470, CD13, CD29 and CD49e). Our results suggest that preterm, as compared with term, cord blood is richer in mesenchymal progenitors, similar to haematopoietic progenitors. 
Unrelated Cord Blood Transplantation for Severe Aplastic Anemia
In the present study we evaluated the feasibility of unrelated cord blood transplantation (UCBT) in patients with severe aplastic anemia (SAA). The outcome of 31 SAA patients (median age 28; range: 0.9-72.3 years old) who received UCBT was analyzed. The cumulative incidences of the neutrophil and platelet recovery after UCBT were 54.8 and 72.2%, respectively (95% confidence interval [CI] = 36.0%-70.3% and 51.3%-85.3%, respectively). The cumulative incidences of grade ≥II acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD, cGVHD) were 17.1% (95% CI = 6.2%-32.8%) and 19.7% (95% CI = 6.2%-38.8%), respectively. Currently, 13 patients are alive, having survived for 33.7 months (median; range: 6-77 months) after UCBT. The probability of overall survival (OS) at 2 years was 41.1% (95% CI = 23.8%-57.7%). A conditioning regimen that included low-dose total body irradiation (TBI) (2-5 Gy), fludarabine, and cyclophosphamide resulted in a favorable OS (80%; 95% CI = 20.4%-96.9%). This result suggests that UCBT using the optimal conditioning regimen can be a salvage treatment for patients without a suitable bone marrow donor and warrants evaluation in further prospective studies. 
Outcome of Cord-Blood Transplantation from Related and Unrelated Donors
Cord-blood banks have increased the use of cord-blood transplantation in patients with hematologic disorders. We have established a registry containing information on the outcome of cord-blood transplantation.
We sent questionnaires to 45 transplantation centers for information on patients receiving cord-blood transplants from 1988 to 1996. Reports on 143 transplantations, performed at 45 centers, were studied, and the responses were analyzed separately according to whether the donor was related or unrelated to the recipient.
Among 78 recipients of cord blood from related donors, the Kaplan–Meier estimate of survival at one year was 63 percent. Younger age, lower weight, transplants from HLA-identical donors, and cytomegalovirus-negative serologic results in the recipient were favorable prognostic factors. Graft-versus-host disease of at least grade II occurred at estimated rates of 9 percent in 60 recipients of HLA-matched cord blood and 50 percent in 18 recipients of HLA-mismatched cord blood. Neutrophil engraftment was associated with an age of less than six years (P = 0.02) and a weight of less than 20 kg (P = 0.02), and it occurred in 85 percent of patients receiving 37 million or more nucleated cells per kilogram of body weight. Among 65 patients who received cord blood from unrelated donors, the Kaplan–Meier estimate of survival at one year was 29 percent. Cytomegalovirus-negative serologic status in these recipients was associated with improved survival (P = 0.03) and was the most important predictor of graft-versus-host disease (P = 0.04). Neutrophil recovery occurred in 94 percent of the patients who received 37 million or more nucleated cells per kilogram from unrelated donors.
Cord blood is a feasible alternative source of hematopoietic stem cells for pediatric and some adult patients with major hematologic disorders, particularly if the donor and the recipient are related. 
Distribution of Telomere Length in the Cord Blood of Chinese Newborns
Aims: We studied the variability in telomere length in cord blood collected from newborns of different birth weights and gestational ages.
Study Design: Prospective cohort study.
Place and Duration of Study: Samples were collected from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital between March 2011 and March 2012 and the terminal restriction fragment assays (TRF) were performed at the Department of Physiology, National University of Singapore.
Methodology: Cord blood samples were prospectively collected in EDTA or heparin tubes for deliveries from Chinese parents. TRF assays were performed on genomic DNA extracted from whole blood. Data was collected for birth weight, gestational age, and maternal age. Variance analyses of telomere lengths and correlation coefficients were calculated using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
Results: The birth weight of the samples collected ranged from 0.61 kg to 5.18 kg with gestation age from 196 to 288 days. TRF results from 184 samples (96 males, 88 females) showed that there was a wide range from 6.6 kbp to 19.2 kbp. The mean TRF length was 12.64 kb (males: 12.33 kb ± 2.50; females: 12.99 kb ± 2.35). There was no statistically significant correlation of TRF with birth weight, gestation age or maternal age. There was highly significant correlation of birth weight with gestational age (P=0.00).
Conclusion: Our results showed no correlation of either gestational age or birth weight with telomere length as measured by TRF assay. 
Proper Medical Prescriptions and Cord Blood Harvesting Improvement at a Children’s Hospital of North Eastern Italy
A systematic harvesting of hematopoietic progenitor cells for transplant purpose in oncology begun in Friuli Venetia Giulia (FVG), a region of north east Italy, at the end of 2000. The actual economic crisis in Italy and in all Europe slows down number births and the cord blood related collection, because tests’ ticket during pregnancy and medical visits are many expensive; nevertheless some specific medical prescriptions and test during pregnancy are exempt from tickets in public health, but not all doctors and patients know rules and modalities of exemption in obstetric-gynecology. Moreover there are formal errors due to the bad quality of external quality control (EQC) of some tests useful to the validation of the cord blood collection. The aim of this work is to study the impact of formal errors in prescriptions and tests validation at a Children’s Hospital of Trieste (main town of FVG region). To this aim had been performed a monitoring, during 2013-14s, to improve appropriateness of prescriptions related to stem cells collection and to make more suitable and safe transplants and related medical cares.3300 medical prescriptions were monitored for 24 months (from 2013 January to 2015 December), and studied with a χ2 test before and after analysis not in compliance with activities and was introduced a management protocol of improvement: the external quality assessment (EQA) of the tests was performed by Biodev (Milan, Italy). Results. The comparison of prescriptions and external tests during 2014-15s has highlighted a significant decreasing of not appropriate requests, mistakes of prescriptions about obstetric exemptions (p<0.05), with a improvement of cord blood harvesting and a re-entry of EQA in the first or second SD. These data stress the continuous use of the sanitary activities monitoring, with updated protocols and severe controls, as key points to improve cares and to avoid improper costs in public health. 
 Erices, A., Conget, P. and Minguell, J.J., 2000. Mesenchymal progenitor cells in human umbilical cord blood. British journal of haematology, 109(1), pp.235-242.
 Yoshimi, A., Kojima, S., Taniguchi, S., Hara, J., Matsui, T., Takahashi, Y., Azuma, H., Kato, K., Nagamura-Inoue, T., Kai, S. and Kato, S., 2008. Unrelated cord blood transplantation for severe aplastic anemia. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 14(9), pp.1057-1063.
 Gluckman, E., Rocha, V., Boyer-Chammard, A., Locatelli, F., Arcese, W., Pasquini, R., Ortega, J., Souillet, G., Ferreira, E., Laporte, J.P. and Fernandez, M., 1997. Outcome of cord-blood transplantation from related and unrelated donors. New England Journal of Medicine, 337(6), pp.373-381.
 Lim, S.-N., Yahya, Z., Zeegers, D., Kyaw, E. E., Yeo, G., Hande, M. and Tan, E.-C. (2013) “Distribution of Telomere Length in the Cord Blood of Chinese Newborns”, Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 3(4), pp. 1004-1014. doi: 10.9734/BJMMR/2013/2676.
 Parco, S. and Vascotto, F. (2016) “Proper Medical Prescriptions and Cord Blood Harvesting Improvement at a Children’s Hospital of North Eastern Italy”, Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 18(7), pp. 1-9. doi: 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/29751.