U.S Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources & Services Administration

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HHS Announces New Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation

January 17, 2008 Contact: HRSA Press Office

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has appointed 23 members to a new advisory council that will study and make recommendations on issues pertaining to blood stem cell transplantation.

The Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (ACBSCT) will focus on activities of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI). These programs, administered by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration, are designed to increase the:

  • number of unrelated donor transplants using blood stem cells from adult donors and cord blood;

  • public inventory of high-quality cord blood units from diverse populations; and

  • number of cord blood units that are available for research.

The ACBSCT will advise Secretary Leavitt and HRSA Administrator Elizabeth Duke on broad program policy in areas such as:

  • the size and composition of the adult donor pool available through the Bill Young program and the composition of the NCBI;

  • requirements regarding informed consent for cord blood donation; and

  • accreditation requirements for cord blood banks participating in the NCBI.

At the Secretary's request, the ACBSCT may also review and provide advice on policies and actions to increase donation and access to transplantation and make recommendations regarding research on emerging therapies using cells from bone marrow and cord blood.

The ACBSCT consists of 23 voting members and 6 non-voting, ex-officio representatives from HRSA, CMS, FDA, NIH, and the Department of Defense Marrow Recruitment and Research Program operated by the Department of the Navy. Voting members represent marrow donor and marrow transplant centers, cord blood banks and participating birthing hospitals, recipients of bone marrow and cord blood transplants, other individuals with related scientific expertise, and members of the general public.

The first ACBSCT meeting, open to the public, will be held on January 28-29 in Rockville, Md., (see January 14 Federal Register notice). For a list of members and more information, see the ACBSCT Membership Roster on HRSA's Bone Marrow and Cord Blood Donation and Transplantation Web site.

The ACBSCT was authorized by the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-129), which President Bush signed on December 20, 2005.