Development of a small molecule cocktail for the expansion of cord blood stem cells

Cord blood (CB) hematopoietic (blood) stem cell transplantation provides the opportunity for patients, without a suitable marrow donor, to receive a lifesaving graft. Regrettably, this procedure is associated with a slower recovery of blood cells. Other patients transiently experience low levels of blood cells following chemotherapy treatment. Both cohorts of patients could be treated with ex vivo expanded CB stem cells to provide long term or transient production of blood cells. New molecules (drugs) have been identified that promote the expansion of blood stem cells in culture. Since most small molecules promote stem cell growth differentially, we hypothesize that a certain combination must exist that can maximize the production of blood stem cells. Using mathematical models, we propose to identify the combination that provides the highest level of expansion of CB stem cells. The capacity of the expanded blood stem cells to contribute to blood cell production will be investigated afterwards, using a preclinical transplantation model. Together, this work will allow for the development of new products that could allow greater use of banked CB units for stem cell transplantation or for the treatment of low blood cell counts due to chemotherapy.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
BLAKE, John AUDET, Julie
Canadian Blood Services
Intramural Research Grant Program
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