February 06, 2015

What is stem cell research? You hear the term often in the news or when reading about the future of health care but what does it really mean? In the most basic of terms, it is a field of biology that explores the medical treatment potential of the tiny master cells within the body called stem cells, which are cells from which every type of tissue in the body originates. The possible health care treatments contained in these cells are almost limitless and scientists in the field of stem cell research are responsible for studying and creating the environments needed to facilitate their healing potential.

When it comes to medical treatments with stem cells, the majority have been conducted with those derived from bone marrow. But over the past few decades there has been a gradual shift for the source of those cells. That shift can be attributed to advances made in the study of cord blood stem cells. Cord blood banking is also on the rise to thanks to recognized progress concerning these invaluable cells that remain in a baby’s umbilical cord following birth.

Cord blood banking allows parents to collect those irreplaceable cells that would otherwise be disposed of and save them in a cord blood bank for their child’s possible future use. A child’s cord blood stem cells will always be a perfect match for him or her and have a high possibility of being at least a partial match for a parent or sibling. This could be highly beneficial should the child or someone in the family later develop an illness, disease or disorder that can be treated with cord blood stem cells. Currently, that list of curable diseases tops more than 80 and with continued research the number is sure to rise in the coming years. Because of advances in stem cell research, especially when considering the impact of umbilical cord blood banking, children are being cured of diseases that just a few years ago would have been considered impossible.

Stem cells from cord blood are easier to match to a recipient because, unlike bone marrow stem cells, cord blood stem cells do not need to be an exact HLA blood match. This makes a world of difference when it comes to time spent waiting on a donor. Patients who may have previously had to wait on a donor list for years are now able to bypass the wait and get lifesaving treatments now. Cord blood banking and having cells on-hand means treatments and cures when you need them.

Stem cell research and umbilical cord blood banking go hand-in-hand and the benefits of both are changing lives. Find out more about cord blood banking by visiting CariCord.com today.

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