As more parents become aware of the healing and regenerative power of umbilical cord blood stem cells, they are faced with a major question of whether to save the cord blood at birth even if they have a healthy family background.
For parents who have a history of cancer, blood or immune system disorders in the family, the answer might be easy. That is because of the existing treatments for those conditions, many of which use umbilical cord blood stem cells. These stem cells are already used to treat over 85 serious medical conditions including:
- Many forms of leukaemia including acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML), non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and neuroblastoma
- Blood disorders including fanconi anaemia, sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia
- Bone marrow disorders including myelofibrosis and severe aplastic anaemia
- Various metabolic disorders including krabbe disease and bare lymphocyte syndrome
- Common variable immune deficiency (CVID), severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) and other immunodeficiencies
But for parents who come from relatively healthy families with no experience of those diseases, they might think about why save the cord blood. The answer is quite simple: the potential upcoming medical treatments based on umbilical cord blood stem cells are nothing short of amazing.
There are dozens of research and clinical trials around the world using stem cells from the cord blood that have wide-reaching implications. If some of these research and trials come to fruition, it will mean that your child’s cord blood stem cells may be useful to your entire family, not just the child it came from.
For example, there is ongoing research which aims to determine if cord blood stem cells could be used to repair degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. If this research leads to a treatment, your child’s stem cells may be of use to you and older relatives.
The field of regenerative medicine is looking at using stem cells from the cord blood to regenerate various components within the human body. Some of the current areas of regenerative medicine research include:
- Treatments for ailments that cause blindness
- Repairing spinal injuries
- Repairing damage to skin tissue (burns, scars, defects, injuries)
- Rebuilding other forms of tissue including muscles, ligaments, tendons, and arteries.
- Repairing cardiac damage after a heart attack
- A cure for Parkinson’s disease and cystic fibrosis
- Even re-growing hair!
So instead of a small subset of medical conditions, the potential uses of stem cells from the cord blood are very wide-reaching. Even if only two or three of these research areas culminate in a treatment for a condition, it would be a substantial improvement upon current medical technologies.
The importance of saving your child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells is enhanced by two other factors:
- The umbilical cord blood stem cells are autologous for your child (a perfect DNA match) and there is a 25% chance of a perfect match to siblings. This is important for avoiding transplant rejection.
- You can access the privately stored cord blood stem cells whenever you need them and for whatever purpose you need them.
Watch Video: Why Save the Cord Blood (Guide for Expecting Parents)
Having full control over your child’s cord blood stem cells and not having to depend on requests to a public stem cell bank is particularly important. It means you can obtain your child’s cord blood sample very quickly as soon as you need them. It also means that you have full control over what they are used for. So, if a cosmetic treatment that uses stem cells becomes available, your child can use their stem cells for that treatment. In some cases, publicly available stem cells may not be available immediately, or only available for certain procedures. Learn more about the pros and cons of public and private cord blood banking
Currently, more than 40,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide and over 5 million families have stored their baby’s cord blood privately to protect their baby and family’s health in the future.
Preserving stem cells from the cord blood can be thought of as both a safety net for your family and an investment in your family’s future. You will have secured valuable biological asset which protects your family against many medical conditions and sets them up for a healthy future.
Why Save the Umbilical Cord Blood with a Private Cord Blood Bank
The process of signing up with a private cord blood bank to store or preserve your baby’s umbilical cord blood is simple. First, contact the representative to discuss your cord blood banking options and then you may sign the storage agreement. You will be handed a cord blood collection kit upon initial payment, which you will need to bring on the day of your delivery. After birth, once the umbilical cord is cut and clamped, your doctor or midwife will proceed with collecting the cord blood sample using the collection kit provided. Once done, you will need to contact the representative once again to help you arrange a courier pickup to ship the cord blood sample to lab where it will be tested and processed. After a few days, you will receive a report of the initial testing status – volume of sample collected and viability. The cord blood sample will undergo a more rigorous testing and after a few weeks, you will receive a certificate confirming the storage.
Watch Video: Step by Step Guide to Cord Blood Banking with Cells4Life
Private Cord Blood Banking Options for Parents
Different private cord blood banking companies will offer different cord blood banking options. At Cells4Life, we offer the most comprehensive cord blood banking services, using three different cord blood processing technologies:
This process focuses on extracting the maximum number of Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from the umbilical cord blood using the AXP technology – an automated, computer-controlled processing system.
Preserving the whole cord blood enables you to store every cell type, as well as hormones and growth factors found in the cord blood after birth.
TotiCyte is a new blood separation technology that delivers 3 times more stem cells at the point of treatment than any other method. It also removes 99% of red blood cells which makes the sample transplant ready.
Watch Video: Guide to Cells4Life Cord Blood Bank Services
More Reasons Why Save the Cord Blood with Cells4Life:
- Multiple sample sub-divisions for multiple treatment opportunities
- 2 geographically separated storage locations in the UK for more security
- State-of-the-art collection kit with built-in cooling system
- Storage options of 20, 25, 30, 35, and 60 years
- Labs accredited by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and licensed by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)
- Additional stem cell storage options: umbilical cord tissue storage, placental cells storage, and amnion storage
Contact Cells4Life today to discuss your requirements and learn more about our services.