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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Expansion of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation: current perspectives

Jessica A Schuster1, Maria R Stupnikov1, Gina Ma1, Wenbin Liao1, Raymond Lai2, Yupo Ma1 and Jerell R Aguila1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, The State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, 11794, USA

2 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta and Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada

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Experimental Hematology & Oncology 2012, 1:12  doi:10.1186/2162-3619-1-12

Published: 14 May 2012

Abstract

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are rare cells that have the unique ability to self-renew and differentiate into cells of all hematopoietic lineages. The expansion of HSCs has remained an important goal to develop advanced cell therapies for bone marrow transplantation and many blood disorders. Over the last several decades, there have been numerous attempts to expand HSCs in vitro using purified growth factors that are known to regulate HSCs. However, these attempts have been met with limited success for clinical applications. New developments in the HSC expansion field coupled with gene therapy and stem cell transplant should encourage progression in attractive treatment options for many disorders including hematologic conditions, immunodeficiencies, and genetic disorders.

Keywords:
Stem cell expansion; Gene therapy; Epigenetics; Umbilical cord blood; HOXB4; SALL4; Notch signaling