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Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the terms of reference are of the umbilical cord blood review being undertaken by his Department; and which organisations and individuals have accepted invitations to the review meeting on 28 May 2008. (202390)

The proposed review will assess the following:

current policies, practices, spending and service provision for the collection, storage and use of placental or umbilical cord blood stem cells in the national health service and/or private sector in the United Kingdom; and

current policies, practices, spending and service provision for the collection, storage and use of placental or umbilical cord blood stem cells in the United States, Canada, Japan, France and China.

The review, to be carried out by Technopolis Ltd, will prepare an initial report on the current use of stem cells collected at birth. This will be presented to an expert workshop on 28 May 2008.

Those invited to the workshop include representatives from Government Departments, regulatory agencies, research councils, public and private blood banks and the Royal Colleges. Two international cord blood research experts, Professor Colin McGuckin from Newcastle university and Albert Bekassy from Lund university Sweden, have also agreed to attend.

Replies are still being received but, so far, 19 representatives from the organisations have agreed to attend.