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WSCS 2021 | Cord tissue-derived MSCs versus cord blood for cell therapy

Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, Duke University, Durham, NC, compares cord blood to cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) as a source for cell therapies in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Cord blood can only be delivered in one dose due to a limited amount of cells available, whereas the abundance of cord tissue-derived MSCs in the umbilical cord allow for ongoing, repeated dosing. In terms of mechanisms of action, cord blood-derived therapies function through monocytes, which have the capability to stimulate remyelination in the damaged brain, whereas MSCs appear to function through the modulation of inflammation. This interview took place at the 2021 World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS).