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From 5 to 7 June the 12th Annual International Cord Blood Symposium was held in San Francisco. The meeting was devoted to advances in umbilical cord blood research with a major focus on translational and clinical results in cord blood transplant and in regenerative medicine. Over 3 days, a comprehensive summary of the state of the art was provided. We have summarized the most important data, organized around the following themes: use of umbilical cord blood for tissue repair, new indications for umbilical cord blood unit stem cell transplant (CBU SCT), enhancing count recovery after CBU SCT, improving outcomes, product quality and financial and cost considerations.

In an era of cost containment and declining reimbursement, pricing and costs play an increasing role in determining CBU use. Dr. Shpall summarized the results of cord blood procurement. Procurement of up to two units costs on average of $90 000. This is excessive compared to the overall cost of the transplant, particularly in developing countries.

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