Banking Cord Blood Stem Cells
Since cord blood contains an abundance of stem cells, they can easily be collected and stored (cryopreserved) in the event that they are needed later in life. Stem cell treatments and transplants have been used for a wide range of diseases and conditions, such as cancers (including lymphoma and leukemia) and inherited metabolic disorders. Banking stem cells holds great promise based on the current stem cell research results, such as the treatment of Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Cerebral Palsy, and the regeneration and repair of organs and tissues. Often, matched stem cells necessary for transplants are difficult to obtain through public cord blood banks; however, stored stem cells taken from your baby’s umbilical cord blood are a perfect lifetime match for your baby and a probable sibling match. In addition, stem cell technologies are evolving at a fast pace; it is foreseeable that stem cell therapy can become an integral part of health maintenance for future generations.
Statistics show that there is a greater chance for success in a stem cell transplant between siblings than with unrelated donors and recipients. There is a reduced likelihood of Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD), which is a major complication of stem cell transplants, resulting from the donor’s cells reacting against tissues in the transplant recipient’s body. Sibling’s stem cells can also be important in treating inherited genetic disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, when the sibling does not inherit the defective gene. In such cases, the child’s own stem cells are not usable for transplant. If you are planning on having additional children or already have other children, we strongly suggest that you consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bank your baby’s stem cells for potential family use, as well as for your baby’s own use.
Banking Cord Tissue Stem Cells
The umbilical cord itself is a rich source of stem cells termed mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Mesenchymal stem cells have many unique functions including the ability to inhibit inflammation following tissue damage, to secrete growth factors that aid in tissue repair and to differentiate into many cell types including neural cells, bone cells, fat cells and cartilage. MSCs are increasingly being utilized in regenerative medicine for a wide range of conditions including heart and kidney disease, ALS, wound healing and autoimmune diseases.
Newborn Stem Cells vs. Adult Stem Cells
In order to preserve more types and quantity of umbilical cord stem cells and to maximize possible future health options, 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 may be necessary. Regarding umbilical cord tissue, all private blood banks’ activities for New York State residents are limited to collection, processing, and long-term storage of umbilical cord tissue stem cells. The 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.
Cryo-Cell recommends storing cord blood stem cells because research has shown that blood-derived stem cells from older donors undergo signs of aging that reduce their ability to function as well as stem cells from younger donors.34, 35 Some of the changes that occur with aging are known to lead to decreased immune system function and alterations in production of blood cells.