The Sayers family

Cerebral Palsy Alliance researchers take centre stage in virtual conference for World Cord Blood Day 2023 

Image above: The Sayers family took part in a CPA clinical trial. Emily was injected with her brother Oliver’s cord blood.

World Cord Blood Day, celebrated annually on 15 November, is a global initiative that highlights the importance and potential of cord blood stem cells.  

This day aims to raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of cord blood banking and its impact on medical treatments and research. In an upcoming online conference as part of World Cord Blood Day 2023, our researchers Dr Madison Paton and Dr Megan Finch-Edmonson are presenting on the research evidence specifically for cord blood for CP, bringing their expertise to a virtual audience interested in learning more about this emerging field of science.  

Cord blood, collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after childbirth, is a rich source of stem and progenitor cells including hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These HSCs have the unique ability to transform into various types of blood cells, offering immense potential for treating several blood disorders, immune deficiencies, and certain types of blood cancers. However, it is the presence of various other cell types in cord blood that makes it a promising option to potentially treat neurological conditions like cerebral palsy.   

Megan and Madison are members of the Regeneration theme at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute, working collaboratively to progress cell therapy clinical trials for cerebral palsy and its various causal pathways. 

Researchers from Cerebral Palsy Alliance were involved in an Australian-first study that found collecting and storing cells from a baby’s umbilical cord and later transferring them to a sibling who has cerebral palsy was found to be safe. Alongside several global research studies, this study is an important first step to help pave the way for more research of cord blood for cerebral palsy in Australia. The results for this have a huge impact for people living with CP, their families and supporters.  

Cord blood has been studied as a treatment for CP in human research for more than 17 years- longer than any other cell therapy to date. Our community tells us that cord blood treatment is important to them and this continues to drive our efforts in this space,” said Dr Paton. 

Our Regeneration research team are playing a leading role in stem cell research, laying the groundwork in demonstrating the safety and efficacy of stem cells such as umbilical cord blood as a future treatment for cerebral palsy and helping to accelerate new stem cell therapies into clinical trials.   

World Cord Blood Day 2023 aims to help us better understand the important role cord blood stem cells play in medicine. Governments and policymakers worldwide need accurate information about cord blood stem cells to create policies that benefit everyone and allow progress in research.  

As we celebrate this day dedicated to the potential of cord blood, the contributions of researchers like Megan and Madison highlight the collaborative efforts needed to unlock the full potential of this remarkable resource. 

A free online event open to everyone, the World Cord Blood Day conference, can be accessed by registering through Eventbrite on demand from Wednesday 15 November until 15 December 2023.

Register here: 

Image above: The Sayers family took part in a CPA clinical trial. Emily was injected with her brother Olivers cord blood.