April 30, 2015
The human body is made up of more than 200 specialized cells that carry out very specific tasks. Stem cells are cells that can replicate themselves, and can also differentiate into one of more of these types of special cells. Generally speaking, stem cells are not yet specialized to perform specific tasks in the human body, but they are extremely valuable to scientists and medical professionals, who can use them in treatments to repair damaged cells or replace lost cells. So when we ask the question, “What is stem cell research?”, we are talking about the very core of the human body, which is why both stem cell research and umbilical cord blood banking are two crucial arenas within the medical world.
Stem cell research is being pursued very aggressively by many researchers, as is umbilical cord blood banking, which is something that expecting mothers should consider, during their stages of pregnancy. Currently, the list of stem cell-based therapies is growing, with more than 80 diseases that can be treated using cord blood, including anemia treatment. It is the hope of countless medical professionals that stem cells will enable scientists to develop treatments and even cures for diseases that are currently thought to be untreatable. This is why stem cell research is important and why you should consider umbilical cord blood banking during your earlier pregnancy stages, so you can make an informed decision before the birth of your child.
There are many diseases that are caused by the loss or damage of specialized cells or tissue. However, stem cells found in cord blood can be used to repair and replace these cells, giving patients a newfound quality of life, all thanks to stem cell research. Currently, clinical trials are underway in an attempt to find a cure for Type I Diabetes, which is caused when specialized cells that produce insulin in the pancreas are lost. Current treatment primarily consists of administering shots of insulin, which only addresses the symptoms of Diabetes, not the actual problem itself. Finding a cure for this disease and countless others such as various cancers and anemia treatment would be far easier if scientists could use stem cells often found in umbilical cord blood to repair or re-grow the missing or damaged cells and transfer them to the affected area of a patient’s body.
April 29, 2015
Non-controversial stem cells that can be used to treat more than 80 diseases are found in two primary sources: cord blood and bone marrow. These stem cells can potentially be used to treat various types of cancers and leukemia, as well as anemia treatment. As stem cell research continues to expand and advance, it is becoming more and more apparent that the stem cells found in cord blood have significant advantages over the stem cells found in bone marrow, when it comes to performing transplants in human patients. More health care professionals are choosing umbilical cord blood as the primary source for stem cells over bone marrow, to be used in transplants, when it is available.
The choice to opt for umbilical cord blood banking is one that must be made while in one of your pregnancy stages, as cord blood can only be collected and stored at the birth of a child, unlike stem cell collections from bone marrow. However, cord blood has proven to offer many impressive benefits over bone marrow cells. One of the advantages of cord blood cells is, once stored, they are ready and available for transplantation as soon as they are needed, whereas bone marrow cells have to be collected and can take as long as one of the stages of pregnancy.
Another advantage of cord blood cells over bone marrow cells is they have been processed and checked for any potential diseases and contamination prior to being securely stored, so you can rest assured that receiving an umbilical cord blood transplant is safe. This can be a legitimate concern to some people, especially those still asking the question, “What is stem cell research?”
Collecting umbilical cord blood is also very quick and painless and offers no negative repercussions for both mother and child, which is another reason to consider it, no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy stages. On the other hand, collecting stem cells from bone marrow donors is an invasive procedure that can sometimes be very painful for the donor. This process also carries a risk of complications and potential infections, whereas umbilical cord blood banking carries little to no risk.
April 27, 2015
Stem cell research is constantly growing and expanding, which means that umbilical cord blood stem cells are becoming more and more useful. In fact, a recent Reuters report revealed that clinical trials for an innovative stem cell treatment, for patients who have suffered from strokes, are going quite well. The trial is showing promising effects for potential long-term treatments.
The London company behind the clinical trials stated that, there were not any cell-related or immunological adverse events in any of the 11 patients who were treated during the trial. The only potential problems observed were related to the implantation procedure or the patient’s existing underlying medical conditions. The process of treating the patients in the clinical trial involved injecting neural stem cells into the brains of the patients, in order to repair the areas of the brain that were affected negatively by the stroke. This is thought to improve both mental and physical function in patients.
“What is stem cell research?” you may be asking. “How does it relate to umbilical cord blood banking?”
Cord blood banking is increasing in popularity, due to the specialized stem cells that can be found in the umbilical cord blood of a newborn child. During their stages of pregnancy, some mothers make the decision to preserve their child’s cord blood, so that the stem cells it contains can be used for possible treatment of a disease for that same child, a sibling, or another close match at a later date. If a mother does not decide to preserve her child’s cord blood in a secure private bank like the one CariCord offers during the pregnancy stages leading up to birth, the potentially life-saving cord blood is discarded as medical waste.
Because stem cell research is constantly growing and expanding, new treatments and even cures for diseases are continually being discovered, such as cures for certain types of cancers or anemia treatment. You never know what your child’s cord blood could be used for when you’re going through your stages of pregnancy and making a decision about whether umbilical cord blood banking is right for you. Currently, cord blood is known to treat more than 80 diseases, including several forms of leukemia, as well as anemia treatment.
April 24, 2015
In addition to offering private family umbilical cord blood banking, CariCord also offers public cord blood banking through the University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank (UCCBB). UCCBB has a 18-year history of collecting, processing, securely storing, and distributing cord blood for human transplantation. As a public cord blood bank, UCCBB has consented 30,000 women and banked over 8,500 cord blood units. More than 750 of these cord blood units, which were collected at the births after mothers completed their stages of pregnancy, have been transplanted to recipients in need at more than 150 different transplant centers across the United States and overseas. This cord blood has been used to cure many diseases.
UCCBB is licensed by the FDA and accredited by AABB. They also provide cord blood to stem cell research investigators in Colorado, Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Washington. The bank is managed by immunogeneticists and stem cell transplant physicians who have decades of experience in umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation. Clinimmune Labs, the parent organization of UCCBB, provides sophisticated HLA high-resolution DNA typing, hematopoietic stem cell processing, flow cytometry, and regulatory oversight to the umbilical cord blood bank.
Hopefully this answers and questions you may have, such as, “What is stem cell research?” Cord blood is currently known to treat more than 80 diseases and can potentially save lives. Cord blood can only be banked at the birth of a child, so it is important to research your options in the earlier stages of pregnancy. There are essentially 3 options when it comes to cord blood. You can store it in a private bank for personal use, donate it to a public bank, or do nothing and have it discarded as medical waste. There is no charge to you for donating to a public bank, so it might be something you want to consider during your pregnancy stages. It could mean saving someone else’s life, and it is a simple and easy process, which is why we believe your family should consider all of your options related to umbilical cord blood banking.