April 30, 2014
Over the past 20 years, cord blood banking has become a valuable resource, as stem cell research has advanced rapidly during this time. More and more parents are discovering the capability of the stem cells found in their newborn child’s umbilical cords, which has led them to collect and store the cells in a cord blood registry and repository, also known as a family cord blood bank.
Family cord blood banks are private banks where umbilical cord blood stem cells are stored for future use, should they ever be needed. These cells can be potentially used in future transplants for the child they were collected from, or a relative that is a positive match. Generally, the most matches are siblings, which means that cells store in a cord blood registry and repository could be used down the road, to treat a sibling of the child they are collected from.
Cord blood is currently known to treat more than 80 diseases, including leukemia and several types of cancers. As stem cell research continues to advance, it is likely that cord blood will be able to treat even more diseases in the near future. When you combine this with the capability of cord blood to be used in transplants involving one of the siblings from which it is collected, you can see that private cord blood banking can be a very valuable procedure, as it relates to the field of regenerative medicine.
Cord blood banking is especially beneficial if there is a history of disease in your family, particularly one of the diseases that cord blood has been used to treat. Cord blood can only be collected at the birth of a child. It is not possible to collect cord blood cells from children once the umbilical cord and placenta have been discarded. However, if you collect cord blood at the birth of your next child, it is possible that that cord blood could be used to treat a disease developed by your child or your other children. This is just one of the positive reasons to save the stem cells found in the umbilical cord blood of your next child.