What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells?
Following the birth of a baby, the umbilical cord is usually discarded along with the placenta. However, it is now known that blood retrieved from the umbilical cord is a rich source of blood stem cells.
Like the bone marrow, stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used to treat various disorders that affect the blood and immune system, leukemia and certain solid tumours as well as some inherited disorders.
After all, cord blood stem cells are the building blocks in our blood and immune system. Cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for the baby and carry a significant probability of match in other family members.
Studies have consistently demonstrated that umbilical cord blood is an effective alternative source of Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) for adult transplantations.
BENEFITS OF CORD BLOOD BANKING
Cord blood transplant is a type of stem cell transplant where the source of stem cells is from the umbilical cord. This treatment modality has been proven to treat more than 80 diseases* including bone marrow disorder, blood cancers, solid cancers, certain types of glycogen storage diseases and immunodeficiencies.
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity
You have only one opportunity to save & utilise your baby’s cord blood instead of discarding it. Your baby’s genetically unique stem cells offer many advantages if stem cells are ever needed for treatment by you, your child, siblings, or other family members.
1. Readily Available for Treatment
When your baby’s cord blood is stored with StemCord, you can reach us at our 24-hour hotline to retrieve your baby’s cord blood stem cells.
2. MINIMISE DISEASE PROGRESSION
With ready access to your baby’s cord blood stem cells, you can minimise disease progression with early treatment.
3. PERFECT MATCH FOR YOUR CHILD
The stored cord blood stem cells are a perfect match for your child and a higher potential match for your family members, as compared to an unrelated donor’s cord blood. This will help to reduce medical complications and improved medical outcomes.
The full list of diseases can be obtained from https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/diseases
Banking cord blood does not guarantee that the cells will provide a cure or be applicable for every situation. The treating physician will determine the ultimate use. There is no guarantee that the umbilical cord blood will be a match for a family member or will provide a cure. Autologous cord blood stem cells will not guarantee suitable treatment for all inherited genetic diseases. As with any transplant therapy, therapeutic success depends upon many factors beyond the stem cells themselves including patient condition, type of disease, recipient-donor relationship and matching, and other factors. The use of cord blood stem cells for emerging treatments is experimental. Please consult your physician.
WHY SHOULD YOU BANK YOUR BABY’S CORD BLOOD
- First Cord Blood Transplant
- Safe & Painless
- Better Match & Lower Complications
- A Potential Future Medical Treatments & Cures
Cord blood banking is the collection and storage of blood taken from the umbilical cord after the baby is delivered. The first successful cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 on a five-year old boy, with Fanconi anemia, who was given a poor chance of survival. The donor was the boy’s HLA-identical newborn sister. More than 17 years later, the recipient is alive and cured of the hematologic manifestations of Fanconi anemia and the rest are history.
More and more families have chosen to collect, process and store their baby’s cord blood as it provides a safe, painless and non-controversial means of acquiring stem cells. These stem cells have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases including common cancers and blood disorders, such as the sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and leukemia.
Storing the baby’s cord blood is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, available only at birth. Cord blood stem cells are young and healthy cells, and are better matches when used for transplants.
Cord blood transplants are generally preferred because of a lower complication rate compared to bone marrow transplants. When stored in a private cord blood bank, cord blood can be readily made available should the need arise, saving the precious time needed to search for a matching donor’s stem cells and allowing treatment to begin promptly.
A baby’s own umbilical cord blood guarantees a perfect match for himself. The cord blood can also potentially increase the odds of having a match for his siblings and parents.
Expectant parents are storing cord blood for their families, not only as a potential life-saving resource for current uses of stem cells, but also for their future potential. Some families have more defined risk factors, but most often, parents bank for the security in knowing the health benefits stem cells may someday offer their children themselves, or other family members.
Recent clinical studies support the unique suitability of cord blood stem cells for a number of developing technologies. Doctors are especially enthusiastic about the potential use of cord blood stem cells in the emerging fields of gene therapy and cellular repair. When you bank your baby’s cord blood stem cells, you are saving what may be a key component to potential future medical treatments and cures.
CURRENT TREATABLE DISEASES
Today, cord blood stem cells transplant is a proven treatment modality for more than 80 diseases*
There are two types of treatment available:
For Autologous Treatment, The patient’s own stem cells is required.
For Allogeneic Treatment, Patient receives stem cells from a matching donor. Probability of a match is much higher among siblings and direct family members.
List of Treatable Diseases* with CBSC
- Autologous Treatment
- Childhood Cancers
- Allogeneic Treatment
- Lymphomas, Myelomas
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Harris DT. Cord blood stem cells: a review of potential neurological applications. Stem Cell Rev. 2008;4:269-274. Epub August 5, 2008
- O’Brien TA, Tiedemann K, Vowels MR. No longer a biological waste product: umbilical cord blood. Med J Aust. 2006 184(8):407–410.
- Parents Guide to Cord Blood Foundation
FUTURE OF STEM CELLS
Cord blood is being researched today for use in regenerative medicine where stem cells may help induce healing or regenerate cells to repair tissues. With its potential to become different tissue types for regenerative therapy, stem cells hold significant promise and hope for the treatment of some of the most common life-threatening diseases.
Research is currently being conducted and the following diseases can potentially be treated with stem cells in the future.
Emerging Trials and Therapies for Autologous & Allogeneic Treatments
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Brain Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Corneal Regeneration
- Diabetes & Juvenile Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Liver Disease
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Spinal Cord Injury
Note: New uses for cord blood stem cells are being discovered rapidly. However, banking cord blood does not guarantee that the cells will provide a cure or be applicable for every situation. The treating physician will determine the ultimate use. The use of cord blood stem cells for emerging treatments is experimental. Please consult your physician.