August 07, 2015

If you are familiar with umbilical cord blood banking, you probably know that the cord blood of newborns carries many benefits, as it is a rich source of stem cells that can be used to treat more than 80 diseases, including many blood disorders and anemia types.

One of the disorders that umbilical cord blood banking can potentially treat is aplastic anemia. This is a condition that occurs when the body ceases to produce enough new blood cells. It leaves one feeling fatigued, and there is an increased risk of uncontrolled bleeding and infections. Though aplastic anemia is a rare condition, it affects thousands of people annually, which is why stem cell researchers are looking for new ways to treat this blood disorder using cells collected by family cord banking services that also offer umbilical cord tissue banking. Aplastic anemia is very serious, and can take place at any age. It may occur suddenly, or slowly over a period of time. Potential treatments include doctor-prescribed medications, blood transfusions, or stem cell transplants.

Recently, registration data from the Japanese Society for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation was used to analyze the outcome of 55 children with severe aplastic anemia, who received a second hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The 5-year overall survival and failure-free survival after this were 82.9% and 81.2%, respectively. Future research will determine if cord blood stem cells are an effective long-term method to treat serve aplastic anemia, though the results look good so far.


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