Cord Blood Cured Me -- Research Summary
BACKGROUND: When you are expecting, you have many decisions to make, for example, banking umbilical cord blood. Cord blood banking basically means collecting and storing the blood from within the umbilical cord after the baby is born. Cord blood contains blood-forming stem cells, which are potentially useful for treating diseases that require stem cell transplants like leukemia or lymphoma, aplastic anemia, severe sickle cell disease, and severe combined immunodeficiency. There are two types of banks that store cord blood:
Public banks collect donated cord blood for research or for use by anyone who may need it. There is usually no charge associated with this service. After birth, blood is collected, anonymously marked, and sent to a public bank to potentially save the life of another child one day.
Private banks store cord blood for personal use by the family. There is a fee associated with this service. People who have a family history of disease that can be treated with stem cell transplants sometimes consider this option.
Like hospital blood banks, cord blood banks are regulated by the FDA, which has developed standards regulating future cord-blood collection and storage. (Source: kidshealth.org)
DISEASES TREATED WITH STEM CELLS: The lifesaving power of cord blood and the regenerative healing potential of cord blood and cord tissue is no longer a secret. The primary type of stem cells are hematopoietic stem cells, which create blood and immune cells. Transplant medicine are used to treat more than 80 diseases, including various cancers and blood, immune and metabolic disorders. More than 30,000 cord blood stem cell transplants performed worldwide to date. There are currently no proven therapies, but cord tissue is being evaluated in clinical trials as a therapeutic agent for optimizing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and in regenerative medicine applications for their ability to treat various diseases and repair tissue damage. Cord blood stem cells are used in many proven therapies today. More than 200 clinical trials are evaluating cord blood stem cells to advance treatment options in transplant medicine and emerging regenerative applications. (Source: www.cordblood.com)