Do you know what the building blocks of our blood and immune system are? Stem cells. These stem cells have the potential to grow into different types of cells in order to repair cell damage in the associated tissues and organs. For this reason, stem cells are considered a major component in the modern regenerative medicine.
Stem cells are found in various parts of human body like bone marrow, blood, embryos, muscle, hair follicles, fetal tissue, baby teeth and fat. But not all stem cells can be used in clinical procedures. Umbilical cord blood is the richest source of stem cells that can be effectively used in therapeutic applications.
These stem cells are collected from the umbilical cord blood right after a baby is born. The cord blood is collected once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The blood is then processed to derive stem cells and preserved, so it remains intact for years. The process is completely safe and poses no harm to the mother and the new born.
After the cord blood stem cells are preserved successfully, the parents of the baby can use the stem cells, if the baby needs any transplant anytime in the future. Apart from that, if any of the family members needs a transplant, the family can easily claim the stored stem cell for the procedure.
Why storing cord blood should be considered?
Cord blood stem cells can treat more than 80 diseases and disorders. Once preserved, you can claim the stem cells for the treatment of any family members. Your elder child can also be treated with the stem cells of your younger child.
Moreover, stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood are immature. Like new born cells, they don’t know how to attack any foreign body. For this reason, using umbilical cord blood is always a safer option.
With umbilical cord blood, you don’t need to wait or look for a suitable matching donor. On the contrary, with bone marrow or peripheral blood, you need to wait for an unrelated matching donor. The reason being, cord blood stem cells are less likely to reject the transplant.
What diseases and disorders can be treated with umbilical cord blood?
Latest studies have shown that conditions like autism and cerebral palsy can be treated with cord blood stem cells. A 2017 study demonstrated that children with autism showed significant improvements in the first six months of the procedure. So, it’s proved that the symptoms of both these disorders can be treated with stem cells.
Studies showed that patients with cancer shows better results if they are treated with their own cord blood stem cells. Some study also show that umbilical cord blood stem cells work wonderfully on cancers that are not genetically derived.
Apart from cancer, there are other conditions like heart failure, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, stroke, diabetes that can be treated with umbilical cord blood. While the above-mentioned treatments are concerned, bone marrow is still the first choice for doctors and patients. The main reason is, in most of the cases umbilical cord blood is not preserved.
There have been hundreds of clinical trials and many have shown successful results. If you store your baby’s cord blood, you would be able to use them if situation demands.