According to the journal Transfusion, “the varied use of mononuclear cells (MNCs), CD34+ stem cells, or lymphocytes to treat or prevent various types of diseases.” (Snyder E and Choate J “The emergence of cellular therapy: impact on transfusion medicine” TRANSFUSION 2010;50:2301-2309). Cellular therapy has become a full-fledged “new wave” crashing through the blood banking community. You can’t go anywhere in the blood banking world without someone talking about the potential impact of CT on their everyday lives. The “traditional” forms of CT include such things as hematopoietic progenitor cell transplants, and rely on tried and true uses of apheresis technology to separate and harvest a specific group of cells. However, the emerging and future directions of CT are far more broad, including opportunities to collect cells that will be used to design and manufacture patient-specific “vaccines” for different types of tumor as well as cells that may be used to generate or regenerate missing or damaged organs or blood vessels. In the future, such technology could conceivably be used to manufacture patient-specific red blood cells or other blood components.
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