Medical College of Wisconsin secures key contract from US HRSA

Contract supports vital work of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research

The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, announced that the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) has been awarded the Stem Cell Therapeutic Outcomes Database contract by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The CIBMTR is a research partnership formed through an affiliation of the College's International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry and the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). As part of the application process for the contract, the CIBMTR worked closely with many leaders in the field, including the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Under HRSA's C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program enacted by Congress in 2005, the CIBMTR will collect and maintain a standardized database of allogeneic (related and unrelated donor) marrow and cord blood transplants performed in the United States; the program now requires that all U.S. transplant centers performing these transplants provide patient outcomes data to this new national Stem Cell Therapeutic Outcomes Database. The database will contain critical information to continually evaluate the program's operations and the status of transplant recipients. Estimated funding for the first two-year period of this contract is $6 million with an additional four years of negotiable funding.

"The Outcomes Database will provide physicians, scientists, policy makers and patients with the information they need to make the best possible clinical decisions and to advance the field," said Mary Horowitz, M.D., chief scientific director of the CIBMTR and the Robert A. Uihlein, Jr., Professor of Hematologic Research at the Medical College. "The goal is to make blood and marrow transplants available to all who need them and to increase their safety and effectiveness."

Since 1972, the CIBMTR has collected retrospective outcomes data provided voluntarily by transplant centers worldwide on both allogeneic and autologous (patient's own cells) hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HCT). Hematopoietic stem cells are the cells responsible for continual regeneration of circulating blood cells throughout life; they are not embryonic stem cells. The CIBMTR has made these data available to investigators and physicians worldwide. In the past year alone, the CIBMTR has published more than 20 papers, is conducting more than 150 observational studies and has helped to coordinate eight national clinical trials in HCT.

In addition to the Stem Cell Therapeutic Outcomes Database, HRSA recently awarded other C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program contracts to the NMDP in order to continue and expand the NMDP's work as a single point of access for transplant patients. The NMDP will continue to serve as the Bone Marrow Coordinating Center and the Office of Patient Advocacy, and will become the nation's new Cord Blood Coordinating Center.

U.S. Congressman C.W. Bill Young, an internationally recognized leader in increasing support and funding for biomedical research, was instrumental in founding a national marrow donor registry that could provide potentially life-saving treatment for those diagnosed with leukemia and other blood diseases. The Congressman and his wife became aware of the need for marrow transplantation while helping a child from their district. Young initiated the marrow donation effort with $2 million appropriated to the U.S. Navy's marrow transplantation research program. From 1999 to 2005, Young served as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, during which time he successfully led the effort in Congress to double federal medical research funding over five years for a variety of needs, including blood diseases.

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About The Medical College of Wisconsin - Founded in 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin is a national, private, academic institution dedicated to leadership and excellence in its fourfold mission: Education, Research, Patient Care and Community Service. Its core competency is medical knowledge, which underpins every aspect of its mission. Its 1,200 full time physicians and scientists teach 1,365 medical and graduate students, 750 physician-residents in training, and more than 12,000 health professional registrants who annually attend continuing education courses. As a major national research center, Medical College faculty received more than $136 million in external support for research and training grants in fiscal year 2004-2005. It is home to ten national research centers and is recognized as a world leader in research in many areas including heart disease, genetics, obesity, medical imaging and bone marrow transplantation. The Medical College's 900 plus faculty physicians provide care to more than 260,000 patients annually.

About the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research - The CIBMTR is a research program formed on July 1, 2004 through an affiliation between the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry (IBMTR) and Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry (ABMTR) of the Medical College of Wisconsin and National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) – Research, Inc., a subsidiary of the NMDP. The IBMTR/ABMTR is a voluntary organization involving more than 400 transplant centers in 47 countries that have collaborated to share patient data and conduct scientific studies since 1972. The NMDP was established in 1987 to provide unrelated donors for patients in need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) and to conduct research to improve the outcome of such transplantations. The NMDP Network includes more than 150 transplant centers (many of whom also participate in the IBMTR/ABMTR) and 90 donor centers. The CIBMTR brought together the research efforts of both organizations to create a unique resource of data and statistical expertise for studying HCT. More information about the CIBMTR can be found on line at www.cibmtr.org.


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