The Future is Bright for Stem Cell Treatments

Considering the many emerging research studies on possible cord blood and cord tissue stem cell use, the future of stem cell treatments is very bright. Only the surface has been scratched when it comes to discovering the potential of these cells to treat diseases and disorders. New technologies that allow for the expansion of cord blood cells means that effective autologous therapy will be achievable well into adulthood. Additionally, research has shown that cord blood stem cells can also be effectively used for regeneration or repair, of non-hematopoietic tissues, such as the repair of joint damage through cartilage regeneration. Studies have also demonstrated that these cells are effective at modulating/reducing inflammation, and in the treatment of neurological disorders (ie. ALS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Stroke) that can occur later in life. Keeping up with the latest news inspires hope in the future.

Latest News

Not Just Stem Cells: The Potential in Umbilical Cord Exosomes

Exosomes, the small—normally only 30–100 nanometers across—extracellular vesicles released from cells are not only carriers of cellular waste, as once believed, but also now known to facilitate cellular functions important to survival such as cell-to-cell communication and immunological responses.

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Report: Cord Blood Enhances Liver Disease Therapies

A meta-analysis of 10 studies conducted in the People's Republic of China shows that patients with liver cirrhosis who received cord blood transplantation with routine supportive therapies did better than those who received routine therapies alone.

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Stem Cells Better Treatment Alternative to Deadly Autoimmune Disease Scleroderma

Stem cell transplants following chemotherapy and total-body irradiation were shown to significantly increase survival rates and a reduced the likelihood of relapse in people with scleroderma. Some were even left disease-free. At the end of the six-year period for which the participants were followed, the overall survival rate was 86% for those that received the stem cell transplant and only 51 percent for those who received the customary cyclophosphamide immune-suppressant injections.

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In the News: Cord Tissue for Cleft Repair

The University of Texas is developing a technique that uses the cord tissue to repair aveolar clefts, which affects the gum line and frontal areas of the roof of the mouth and can cause clefts in the lips and palate.

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Cord tissue to treat arthritis is for the dogs—too

The stem cells in umbilical cord blood and tissue aren’t just for humans; other mammals, such as man’s best friend, may be able to benefit, too.

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New Strategy for Treating Parkinson's Disease

Researchers have developed a new approach to using stem cells to treat Parkinson’s disease while avoiding the negative consequences of other stem cell therapies, according to two new studies.
The scientists used a type of human stem cells called mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in bone marrow and cord tissue. The cells respond to the environment that surrounds them, and when injected into the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease, successfully became mature neurons and allowed for the physical recovery of the animals.

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Cord blood stem cells may help restore vision for those suffering from macular degeneration

A phase 2 clinical trial is underway for the use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to treat the most common form of macular degeneration. Researchers believe that that the treatment may not only stop the disease’s progression and thereby prevent its worse effects, but in fact, restore vision.

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Treating spina bifida in utero with cord-tissue patch

The scope of the conditions being treated with cord blood and cord tissue stem cells is already extensive and keeps growing. This is a fascinating, current treatment using cryopreserved human umbilical cord to heal spina bifida. The findings are published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

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Birthing new skin with umbilical cord stem cells

Plastic surgeon and stem cell researcher, Dr Phan has a passion for healing wounds. That passion led him to discover a way to create skin cells quickly and in large quantities by using the lining from umbilical cords. Rather than using the limited available amount of a patient's skin to help heal a burn, the cells from the umbilical cord lining can provide an unlimited reserve of un-programmed cells to create new skin and bone, and even other body parts, such as the cornea in the eye. Such methods could potentially heal wounds from burns or diseases such as diabetes.

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Stem cells from umbilical cord blood may help treat eczema

A new study suggests that treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord blood might be an effective therapy for patients with moderate-to-severe eczema, or atopic dermatitis. For the clinical trial, 34 patients were randomly assigned to receive a low dose or high dose of the cells. Fifty five percent of patients who received the high dose showed a 50% reduction in what’s known as the Eczema Area after 12 weeks after treatment.

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