Results of the cord blood transplantation (COBLT) study unrelated donor banking program.
BACKGROUND: The goals of the Cord Blood Transplantation (COBLT) Study banking program initiated in 1996 were to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cord blood (CB) donor recruitment and banking and to build an ethnically diverse unrelated CB bank to support a transplantation protocol.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The program included collection centers, three banks, a steering committee, and a medical coordinating center (MCC) that developed and validated SOPs and a Web-based data collection system. External oversight was performed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the MCC.
RESULTS: A total of 34,799 potential donors were screened and 20,710 consented. A total of 17,207 ethnically diverse units were collected between 1998 and 2001. A total of 11,077 (64%) units were cryopreserved and quarantined. Of these, 79 percent met eligibility criteria and were HLA-typed and entered into the search registry. Higher CB volumes and cell counts were obtained from cesarean sections compared to vaginal deliveries. Units from African American persons contained lower cell counts per volume compared to other ethnicities. Birth weight correlated with volume and cell content. External oversight was accomplished through custom reports generated by the data collection system and periodic site visits. During maintenance, a breach in the SOPs was detected during a site visit at one of the banks. These units were designated for future use in nonclinical research.
CONCLUSION: The COBLT Study demonstrated that SOPs and data collection can be implemented in multiple banks coordinated by one MCC. Relationships between donor demographics and CB content may be useful in the development of other CB banking programs.