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EUROCORD-ED: On-line Curriculum on Cord Blood Technology

Recent progress has revealed umbilical cord blood as a unique, safe,ethical source of stem cells for therapeutic use in many clinical settings ofsocio-economic importance. Cord blood technology is evolving rapidly.This scientific innovation underscores the need for training and increasedcommunication between the actors involved in this multidisciplinary field:laboratory scientists, technicians, clinicians, transplant physicians,obstetricians, midwives & biotechnology companies involved in banking,research, clinical analysis of cord blood and ICT.In addition, the area has quickly become highly regulated on a par withthe pharmaceutical industry. All establishments involved in cord bloodprocessing now need to be licensed and people need to be trained in therequirements of the Directives and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).Training is important to ensure pan-European harmonization ofknowledge and skills and to guarantee the uniform implementation ofquality control standards and EU directives. This project will build onprevious European Commission grants related to training, mobility andquality control in the healthcare setting. It will also contribute to enhancethe implementation of the EU Directives on Tissue and Cells.The EUROCORD-ED Network aims to develop a focused,interdisciplinary, multilingual, on-line curriculum on the scientific,technical, clinical, regulatory and ethical aspects of cord blood - easilyaccessible at a time, place and language (initially English, Spanish,French, Italian) convenient to the user. It will be a cost-effective tool topool knowledge and share experience between the field’s vocationalactors.EUROCORD-ED will use active and passive training strategies. Mediaand tools will include video demonstrations of important techniques,webcast lectures, interactive forums with international experts, interactivecase studies, protocols, guidelines, links to relevant publications, EUdirectives and international guidelines and regulations. Tools will beaccessible to users for self-assessment and to evaluate and orient furtherdevelopment of the curriculum framework and content. This educationalproject on cord blood is unique to its kind in the world.The EUROCORD-ED Consortium comprises 15 major Europeanscientific and educational organizations in the field.EUROCORD-ED will be useful to health policy decision-makers,providing them with recent data and centralized access to Europeanexperts. It will also be a reliable source of information for the generalpublic. It will contribute to improve and harmonize European expertiseand promote professional mobility. It will contribute to train trainers. It willsupport the development of European biotechnology companies and thecreation of new jobs. It will contribute to the quality of patient care. As amultidisciplinary, multilingual tool, it should attract a large population ofusers worldwide, thus also contributing to the visibility of this Europeaneducational and scientific initiative.Thematic Domain / Topic: When babies are born, the umbilical cord isgenerally discarded. This is because pregnant women and many of theirdoctors are unaware that science has demonstrated that cord blood cellshave immense therapeutic value. Today, they save many lives. Cordblood is a safe, painless and ethical source of stem cells. TheEUROCORD-ED project aims to inform and educate scientists, doctorsand all the vocational actors involved in the field. It is also aims to informfuture parents, and to support health policy decision-makers.
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