You are here


New Search Engine: All Open Cord Blood Trials

May 2017
Frances Verter PhD, Pedro Silva Couto, MSc, Alexey Bersenev, MD PhD, Peter Lozovitsky


As a community service, Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation has converted the trials page of our website into a search engine that enables readers to look up all clinical trials conducting cell therapy with cord blood that are currently open worldwide. The new portal of Open Cord Blood Trials is searchable by diagnosis. There is also an option to display a map of the hospitals where the trials are enrolling.

Our cord blood trials search makes it easier for patients and their families to find cord blood therapy options without having to learn how to navigate multi-function clinical trials registries in multiple countries.

The work that led to the creation of this search engine started over a year ago: In late 2015, our team began compiling a database of all clinical trials worldwide that conducted advanced cell therapy. That project led to the launch of in January 2017. Using that database as a starting point, we realized that we had the ability to create a searchable portal dedicated specifically to clinical trials offering cord blood therapy.

However, there were several steps from the data in to the portal of Open Cord Blood Trials. First, we had to narrow down our list of all international trials registered to conduct advanced cell therapy to only the cord blood trials that are currently open. Second, we had to expand our collection of cord blood trials beyond advanced cell therapy so that we also included traditional cell therapy (ordinary cord blood transplants for standard indications). Finally, our web developer had to build a search engine that is intuitively easy to use and returns answers fast.

We have warned that counting keywords is not compiling clinical trials. At the end of Feb. 2017, a keyword search of the US trials registry found 209 open cord blood trials. It takes many hours of human effort to look at every entry returned by that keyword search and compile an accurate database of cell therapy trials. We found that only 118 of those 209 entries were actually cell therapy trials with cord blood. This is a cautionary tale which demonstrates that portals of open trials cannot be built by keyword search.

Our search engine of open cord blood trials has launched with 113 trials. We added trials from around the world that are not listed on, and we removed trials that are follow up studies or were only registered to establish legal access to old inventory. Each year there are only a few dozen new trials that conduct cell therapy with cord blood, so we anticipate it will be sufficient to update this portal twice per year.

As a second community service, Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation has created a free web application that enables our trials search to be embedded in another website. The app version of the trials portal is visible on the left side of our trials page, and instructions to embed it in other websites are available at this link. We hope that this ground-breaking service will be of great value to the community we serve.