International Expansion 

International Expansion

Cellular transplantation is an international effort. Because the best donor for an unrelated donor transplant is often in a country other than that of the recipient, international standards for cellular therapy products are important in facilitation of these transplants. To address this issue, FACT representatives worked with colleagues from the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and ISCT-Europe to establish the Joint Accreditation Committee of ISCT-Europe and EBMT (JACIE). The primary aim of JACIE is to improve the quality of hematopoietic cell transplantation in Europe through its accreditation and education programs, and to work toward international harmonization of standards and regulations. JACIE adopted the first edition of FACT Standards in 1999. The second edition of the Cellular Therapy Standards was jointly reviewed by FACT and JACIE, with the third and fourth editions jointly developed by the two organizations.

The first edition of FACT Standards for Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Collection, Processing and Transplantation (1996) did include a few general standards related specifically to the collection of cord blood. However, it became apparent that the field of placental and umbilical cord blood banking is more complex than addressed in the first edition. Representatives of FACT, ISCT, and ASTCT collaborated with members of NetCord, an international network of independent cord blood banks, to draft comprehensive international standards for cord blood and to establish an accreditation program parallel to the FACT accreditation program for cellular therapy.

The Standards have also been adopted as the official standards for HPC by the Canadian and Australian governments.

In 2018, FACT partnered with the Sociedade Brasileira de Transplante de Medule Ossea (SBTMO) to develop and administer the joint FACT-SBTMO Accreditation Program in Brazil.  The collaboration strives to enhance efforts to improve quality and patient safety at cellular therapy programs, increase access for patients to internationally accredited blood and marrow transplant programs in Brazil, and provide an accreditation program at an affordable cost.

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