March 24, 2014
Our bodies are made up of over 200 specialized cells that carry out very specific functions. Although there are different types of stem cells, generally speaking, a stem cell is not yet specialized to perform a specific task in the body. Stem cells can replicate themselves and they can also produce one or more of these specialized cell types. The ability of these cells to differentiate makes them valuable to scientists, who want to use them as treatments to repair damaged cells or to replace cells that have been lost.
Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Stem Cells
Most of the current stem cell therapies utilize hematopoietic stem cells, which are found in bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood. Depending on many factors, the physician will decide which one of these to use. For decades, transplant physicians have been using this type of adult stem cell to treat patients with diseases such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia, bone marrow damage, and some metabolic disorders and immunodeficiencies where the body has lost its ability to replenish its own set of healthy blood cells.
Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to all the blood cell types, from infection-fighting white blood cells to blood-clotting platelets. Recently however, researchers have identified additional types of stem cells, in the umbilical cord itself. There are mesenchymal stem cells in the Wharton’s Jelly, found inside the umbilical cord. These cells are the building blocks of bone and cartilage and show much promise for use in regeneration of those types of tissues. Additionally, the lining of the umbilical cord contains both mesenchymal and epithelial stem cells in high quantities. Epithelial stem cells are precursors to skin, smooth tissue and organs. Clinical trials are underway, using epithelial cells from the cord lining tissue, to treat burns and early results are very encouraging.
Why Stem Cell Research is being pursued
Currently, the expanding list of stem cell-based therapies gives researchers hope that someday, stem cells will enable scientists to develop treatments and cures for diseases previously thought to be incurable. There are major diseases that are caused by the loss of, or damage to, a specialized cell or tissue. Currently, scientists are doing research and clinical trials to find a cure for type I diabetes, which is caused by the loss of specialized cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Today, treatment consists of administering insulin shots, which only address the symptoms. Finding a cure for this and many other diseases would be much easier if scientists could use stem cells to repair or re-grow the missing or damaged cells and deliver them, using various techniques, to the affected area of the patient’s body.
Why you should save your baby’s Cord Blood & Cord Tissue Stem Cells
Researchers and scientists all over the world are working in the field of stem cell research, to create and develop therapies that rebuild or replace damaged cells with stem cells and/or tissues grown from stem cells, in the hope of achieving major medical breakthroughs. This research offers hope to patients suffering from various cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, spinal-cord injuries, and many other disorders. Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord Blood have been used for over 20 years in FDA approved treatments of over 80 diseases. Considering the advances in research and Regenerative Medicine, that number will continue to grow exponentially.
It is important to note that research and clinical trials (in regenerative medicine) involving humans are almost exclusively conducted using the subjects’ (patients) own (autologous) stem cells, that have been harvested from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue or peripheral blood. The cord blood and cord tissue have the advantage of being very young adult stem cells that have not been exposed to damage from radiation, toxins or other forms of environmental stress, which is a possibility with peripheral blood stem cells. Individuals who had their cord blood and tissue banked will have a definite advantage in this regard, because of their ability to participate in emerging treatments that utilize cord blood and tissue.
The CariCord laboratory and repository are located in the Colorado Science + Technology Park, within the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus. Many parents worry that the business they invest in today might be gone in a few years - and certainly worry about risk over 21 years. By selecting our services, parents are assured that their baby’s cord blood is stored at a highly credentialed facility that will be there for a lifetime and beyond.
CariCord covers all your laboratory and repository needs and also provides a direct association with the adjacent facilities, including University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, The Veterans Hospital and The Children’s Hospital Colorado. These research facilities and treatment centers are geared toward current and next generation life-saving technologies. At build out, the Colorado Science + Technology Park will encompass 578 acres and 17 million square feet of advanced healthcare treatment and research facilities.
How Does it Work?
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Call CariCord at 844-CARICORD (844-227-4267) or enroll on-line at CariCord.com. We will ship a collection kit to your home.
2. Take the collection Kit with you when you deliver your baby and the Dr. will perform the collection and give the kit back to you.
3. Call 844-CARICORD to schedule a Medical Courier to pick up the kit within a few hours and they will deliver the kit to our lab for processing
Quality You Can Trust
The cord blood bank has been approved by the FDA to manufacture cord blood as a pharmaceutical drug. Currently, there are only five such FDA licensed facilities in the world. CariCord units will be processed, using the same procedures, equipment, supplies and handling, by the same lab technicians as the licensed public cord blood banked units. Private units are not licensed, because they are designated for autologous use (although they may be used for a close family member, if they are a sufficient match). The fact that the laboratory has such stellar accreditations, speaks volumes to what should be the single-most important consideration for a parent, QUALITY.
The University Cord Blood Bank has supplied over 1600 hematopoietic stem cell products at 150 transplant programs, in 25 countries and the University of Colorado Medical Center has performed over 1000 hematopoietic transplants.