Cord blood bank is a facility where stem cells are stored after its extraction from the umbilical cord blood. This process of storage is also known as stem cell preservation. The stem cells are first extracted, then processed in the lab where stem cells are isolated and finally stored in the compartmentalized cryo-pouches at a temperature of – 196 degree Celsius.
Stem cells are the basic and undifferentiated cells those have the ability to divide into any kind of cells of the body. This potency of these cells provides them the power of treating more than 80 life-threatening diseases that are untreatable by medicine.
As the history says the cord blood was first discovered in 1983 and it is proved as an alternative to the bone marrow. The cord blood transplant was first done in the year 1988, on a boy who was suffering from Fanconi Anaemia. His treatment from the stem cells was done at the age of five and stem cells were isolated from the cord blood of his sister. After this treatment, the medical experts discovered to store the cord blood stem cells and established the concept of cord blood banking.
Since 1988, more than 30 years have passed in the evolution of stem cells that are isolated from the umbilical cord blood of a baby. In this time span, stem cell transplant of more than 40,000 have been accomplished.
The stem cells can be extracted from various sources such as bone marrow, embryo or cord blood. But medical experts suggest to isolate stem cells from the cord blood of the baby. Reason behind is that the blood found in the umbilical cord is the richest source of stem cells and also the process of collection is simple, safe and painless method. The cord blood stem cells do not need a 100% match only a partial match in HLA can assist in Stem cell transplantation process. Also, the cord blood stem cells cause less risk of infection for graft versus host disease.
Currently the clinical trials have proved that more than 80 diseases can be treated by the stem cells. The diseases are:
- Cancer which includes Leukemia, Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma and Retinolastoma.
- Blood disorders including different types of Anaemia, Genetic Red Blood Cells Abnormalities, Platelet Abnormalities and many others.
- Metabolic disorders that comprises of Leukodystrophy Disorders, Lysosomal Storage Diseases, Mucopolysaccharidosis Storage Diseases, etc.
- Different types of Immune disorders of the system and organs of the body.
Due to the ability of treating these diseases, the cord blood stem cells can be recognized as regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine has the capability of repairing the damaged cells of the body. In addition, the umbilical cord is a source which provides stem cells of all the three cell lines. For example, hematopoietic cell line, mesenchymal cell line and epithelial cell line.
Studies are done in clinical trials to prove that the stem cells might help in future to cure all those diseases that are still untreatable and cause suffering to the people. So, bank your baby’s stem cells and get a health security for you, your baby and your family.