Umbilical cord blood banking is the process of collection and preservation of blood and tissues from placenta and umbilical cord after a baby is delivered. These blood and tissue not only contains all the components of whole blood such as red and white blood cells, platelets, and plasma but also it contains blood stem cells, that are also known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These HSCs are capable of regenerating into almost all the types of blood and immune system cells required for a person’s entire life.
Cord blood stem cells have the potential and can be used in to treat & even cure some diseases affecting the blood and the immune system through the stem cell transplantation. However, these stem cells can be collected from umbilical cord blood as well as from the bone marrow and peripheral blood and then delivered intravenously to the patient. But the process of collecting stem cells from cord blood is painless and easy as compared to collecting it from bone marrow. Also, there are various umbilical cord blood stem cells advantages one such advantage is they can be frozen and preserved for years, which cannot be done with stem cells extracted from bone marrow.
Why Are Cord Blood Stem Cells The Life-Saver?
- As we already know, cord blood is well-known as a valuable source of powerful HSCs. Hematopoietic stem cells have already been used in the treatment of over 80 conditions of the blood & immune system as part of stem cell transplantation. In addition to this, cord blood contains other potentially beneficial cells, such as regulatory T cells. These cells are being researched in the laboratory studies to check if they may be a relevant source for patients with auto-immune conditions like type 1 diabetes.
- Cord blood can be used immediately in the treatment of disease or can be easily stored for the future public or private use. Successful transplantation of cord blood stem cell can potentially cure the patient suffering from certain diseases by replacing their blood stem cells.
- Diseases that are most commonly treated by stem cell transplantation include blood diseases such as cancers or red blood cell disorders, bone marrow failure diseases, and certain immune deficiencies (diseases which mainly result from missing or dysfunctional immune cells). Also, some less commonly treated diseases by transplantation are the inherited metabolic diseases (such as deficiencies in breaking down the substances in the body).