The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking
Benefits of Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Stem Cells
There are several benefits of cord blood banking. First, the advantages of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and cord tissue are that they are easily extracted, resulting in no risk or pain for the mother or baby. Alternatively, bone marrow collection is an invasive procedure and requires general anesthesia with its inherent risks. Also, cord blood stem cells have a high rate of engraftment, are more tolerant of HLA mismatches, result in a reduced rate of graft-versus-host disease and are rarely contaminated with latent viruses, which simply means that the body often accepts cord blood stem cells better than those from bone marrow. Plus, banked cord blood stem cells are readily accessible, allowing treatment to begin earlier if required, with no time wasted in the search and matching process required for publicly banked stem cells. And lastly, when you bank with Cryo-Cell, there is no cost to retrieve your baby’s stored stem cells if they are needed for transplant. However, there may be a fee associated with further testing required for transplantation and transportation of the product to the transplant facility.
Often, matched stem cells, which are necessary for transplant, are difficult to obtain due to strict matching requirements, but the benefits of stem cells from your baby are being a perfect match for his or her lifetime. For example, in the event your child contracts a disease, which must be treated with chemotherapy or radiation, there is a probability of a negative impact on the immune system. While an autologous (self) transplant may not be appropriate for every disease, there could be a benefit in using the preserved umbilical cord blood stem cells to bolster and repopulate your child’s blood and immune system as a result of complications from other treatments. Since we are in the era of regenerative medicine, cells are being studied in clinical trials for other diseases not related to the blood or immune system, which may include cells from the umbilical cord blood and/or cord tissue.
Additional advantages of banking your child’s cord blood stem cells
include having a 39% chance of an acceptable match for a sibling. Using genetically related stem cells, which are free from the disease being treated, often results in successful transplants with fewer complications. Also, cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are ‘privileged’ or unexposed to most diseases. And what’s more, cord blood may have uses in the future well beyond stem cell transplants. New regenerative medicine applications may utilize umbilical cord blood stem cells and/or cord tissue stem cells to rebuild cardiac tissue, repair damage due to stroke or spinal cord injuries and reverse the effects of such diseases as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's. While the research is in its early stages, the possibilities are extremely promising. So by banking your child's umbilical cord blood stem cells and /or cord tissue stem cells now, you increase his or her access to any of these technologies in the future.
While saving your child's stem cells is an investment, it still costs less than many families spend on their child's nursery. Plus, storage fees are less than $3/week. And if that’s not enough, consider this: if you donate the cord blood to a public bank, be aware that the stem cells may not be available for your use in the future.
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Cryo-Cell’s umbilical cord tissue service provides expectant families with the opportunity to cryogenically store their newborn’s umbilical cord tissue cells contained within substantially intact cord tissue. Should umbilical cord tissue cells be considered for potential utilization in a future therapeutic application, further laboratory processing will be required.
Cryo-Cell’s activities for New York State residents are limited to collection, processing, and long-term storage of umbilical cord tissue. Cryo-Cell’s possession of a New York State license for such collection, processing and long-term storage does not indicate approval or endorsement of possible future uses or future suitability of these cells.