’50s
’60s
’70s
’80s
’90s
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012

TIMELINE

1950 Scientists describe function of HLA antigens.
1966 Canadian physicians document blood cell production mechanism of bone marrow (BM)
1974 First bone marrow transplants performed; compatibility increased via HLA tissue typing.
1974 First report on human umbilical cord blood (CB) stem cells.
1980 Similarities found between human CB and BM.
1982 Research confirms that CB contains hematopoetic stem cells suitable for transplantation.
1983 CB stem cells suggested as alternative to BM for transplant.
1988 First successful CB transplant in 6 yr old boy with Fanconi’s Anemia, using sibling’s CB (France).

Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide develops global search engine where donors

register and publish their HLA type for matching purposes.

1992 New York Blood Center establishes first public CB bank.
1993 Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide registers first public CB bank. To date, over 200,000 CB units from 39 cord blood banks and 21 countries are available for transplantation.
1993 First unrelated CB transplant performed (Duke University, USA).
1995 First family cord blood bank opens (USA).
1996 National Health Service (UK) establishes public CB bank.
1996 Canadian provincial government helps establish Alberta Cord Blood Program public bank.

Long-term provincial funding still required.

1997 Cells for Life opens in Ontario as one of Canada’s first family banks.
1997 46 yr old man with chronic myelogenic leukemia successfully treated with CB stem cell transplant.
1997 Data shows one-year survival rate is doubled if patient receives CB stem cell transplant from a

relative (63%) vs unrelated donor (29%).

1998 New York Cord Blood Center publishes outcomes of first 562 cord blood transplants from unrelated donors.
1998 American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) accredits first family bank.
1998 First successful transplant to cure sickle cell anemia.
1998 Research shows CB transplants result in significantly lower instances of graft vs host disease.
2001 Research confirms CB is a suitable alternative to BM for adults requiring stem cell transplant.
2002 Cells for Life establishes first Medical Need Program in Canada, providing free processing/storage to parents requiring child’s CB sample for medical treatment.
2002 Hema-Quebec initiates public cord blood banking project funded by the QC government. To date, Hema-Quebec has ~ 500 samples stored.
2003 Japan uses CB in more than half of all transplants (children and adults).
2004 George W. Bush allocates $10 million to establish National Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank Program; instructs Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study the development of a national cord blood public bank program and CB research plan.
2004 New England Journal of Medicine article states that cord blood stem cells are acceptable treatments for adults with leukemia.
2004 Illinois becomes first US State to mandate that all expectant mothers have the option to donate baby’s CB to a public bank at no cost; many States legislate that doctors must provide education on cord blood banking options
2005 Canadian Hematology Society and the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group officially support the development of a Canadian National Public Cord Blood Program. No Canadian government funding.
2005 Founders of Cells for Life cord blood bank establish the Victoria Angel Registry of Hope Public Cord Blood Bank (Canada’s only public cord blood bank funded by a family bank; only public bank in Ontario).
2005 IOM completes study. Congress dedicates funds to establish a National Cord Blood Program and to increase CB medical treatment research.
2005 US Congress passes The Stem Cell Research and Therapeutic Act of 2005; allocates over $80 million to create national inventory of 150,000 CB samples. Research expands and transplant physicians are trained in use of CB stem cells.
2005 Thousands of successful CB transplants done worldwide.
2005 Use of two CB samples for adults becomes more commonplace; increasing the number of stem cells during treatment.
2005 UK researchers discover embryonic-like stem cells in CB.
2005 Researchers begin clinical trial using autologous cord blood stem cells to treat Type 1 diabetes.
2005 Researchers explore techniques to increase number of CB stem cells in one sample; enabling families to use samples for more than one treatment.
2006 US Congress distributes funds for CB research/public banking activities. State funding improves access to CB banking.
2006 Victoria Angel Registry of Hope Public Cord Blood Bank is designated as third fastest growing public bank in the world by the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA). Still no Canadian governmental support. 
2006 Research increases into the use of CB stem cells to treat Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Heart and Stroke, Lou Gehrig’s (ALS), spinal cord injuries, sports injuries, and other neurological/ blood/ metabolic orders.
2006 Stroke-induced mice show reduced lesion size, better neural organization and marked improvement in motor/cognitive function after CB stem cell treatment.
2006 First Cells for Life sample released to boy with leukemia; received sibling’s sample; now cured. (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto)
2006 Cells for Life opens new laboratory and office at Toronto General Hospital. State-of-the-art facility has capacity for 125,000 samples.
2007 Children with Cerebral Palsy receiving CB transplants show marked improvement in motor function, cognitive function, eye sight and communication following cord blood stem cell transplants. 
2007 CB being used to successfully treat over 70 different diseases worldwide.
2007 Duke University researchers studied 159 children with inherited metabolic disorders who received donated (unrelated) CB transplants (1995 – 2007). Study demonstrates advantages to CB use over BM transplants.
2007 Reports on the use of CB in the treatment of Parkinson’s are promising.
2007 Researcher supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation find that transfusion of stored CB stem cells into newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes delays progression of disease.
2007 Study confirms 1998 findings that transplants with genetically-related CB stem cells improves outcomes compared to transplants from an unrelated donor.
2007 Cells for Life opens Montreal office near downtown hospitals.
2007 Public CB banking increases worldwide; > 400,000 samples available (> 390,000 from USA). Canada’s contribution is minimal.
2007 Canadian Provincial Health Ministers request recommendations from Canada Blood Services to develop a national public cord blood program. 
2008 BBMT Article (Nietfeld et al) states that by age 70, the likelihood of needing an autologous stem cell transplant is 1 in 400; 1 in 200 for either an allogeneic or autologous transplant. (based on diseases currently treated with stem cells).
2008 Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) studies with CB stem cells in mice show promising results; further research required.
2008 Study finds CB stem cell treatment increases number of neural cells and reduced inflammation in the brain in lab experiments with rats.
2008 Study finds low doses of CB stem cells in mice reduces the amount of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s Disease; increases blood flow and reduces inflammation in the brain.
2008 Cell expansion increases the number of cells in a single CB unit thereby making it more effective with larger individuals.  Ongoing clinical trial studies treatment of leukemia patients with expanded CB stem cell samples; results promising.
2008 Studies in the use of CB stem cells for tissue engineering show that stem cells are capable of differentiating into cardiac tissue, as eight new heart valves were grown and tested in a laboratory setting.
2008 CB stem cell transplant performed in 2 year old boy with Epidermolysis Bullosa (fatal genetic disease caused by lack of critical protein) using sibling’s sample. Seven months after treatment, boy is producing the protein. Treatment may lead to this genetic disorder to be taken off the ‘incurable list’.
2008 Harvard School of Medicine develops fully functional blood vessels in mice by combining two types of progenitor cells including CB stem cells; may lead to a non-surgical solution in the treatment of heart disease, ischemia (reduced blood flow) and wound healing.
2008 Cells for Life featured on the National Medical Report. Video may be seen on YouTube at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=A1ziGfTXa-Y 
2009 In March 2009, US legislation was introduced called the “Family Cord Blood Banking Act” that amends the IRS Tax Code to allow parents to get tax advantages to pay for cord blood banking services. CBR Press Release, San Bruno California,  March 26, 2009
2009 A total of 20 US states now legislate that health professionals must tell pregnant women of their cord blood banking options during their 2nd trimester.
2009 Cells for life open’s Calgary office
2009 FDA releases guidelines for the cord blood banking industry
2010 Estimated, more than 24,000 cord blood transplants performed world wide
2011 Victoria Angel Registry of Hope public cord blood bank obtains charitable status in Canada
2011 Study finds stem cells stored for 22.5 years engrafted as expected
2011 Ministers of Health announce Canada’s first national, publicly-funded umbilical cord blood bank. Investing $48 million over the next 8 years.
This bank to be developed and managed by Canadian Blood Services.
2012 Cells for life is awarded FACT Accreditation
2012 It is estimated more than 30,000 cord blood transplants performed world wide
2012 Canadian Blood Services announces it will start collecting publicly donated samples in Ottawa as of April 2013