Cord Blood Stem Cells FAQs
What is cord blood?
Cord blood refers to the remaining blood in a newborn baby’s umbilical cord following birth. This blood contains a rich amount of umbilical cord stem cells which are very naïve and can be directed to transform into a range of other cell types.
What makes umbilical cord stem cells different from other sources?
Umbilical cord stem cells are considered to be the ‘youngest’ and ‘freshest’ types of cells. What this means is that because they are just a minute old, they do not have the immune history that bone marrow stem cells and other sources may have.
They are more readily accepted by the patient in a transplant setting, and studies show that there is a lower incidence of Graft Versus Host Disease or GvHD (when the patient’s immune system rejects the transplanted cells). Umbilical cord stem cells also have a broader match potential in comparison to those from other sources because they do not need to be an exact genetic match due to the nature of umbilical cord stem cells.
How umbilical cord stem cells can be used in treatments today?
Umbilical cord stem cells can be used therapeutically to help restore function to the immune system and blood-producing systems, e.g. when these cells have been damaged by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.