Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. This blood contains stem cells that can treat dozens of illnesses, and is free of the ethical controversy surrounding embryonic stem cell research.
Cord blood has been used to treat more than 70 diseases such as: Hematologic Malignancies, Bone Marrow Failure Diseases, Metabolic Diseases, and Immune Deficiency Diseases1.
1 - Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, Diseases Treated, http://parentsguidecordblood.org/diseases.php (accessed Oct 13, 2015).
In addition, hundreds of clinical trials are being performed using cord blood for regenerative medicine and other applications. Some of the clinical trials include Type 14,5 and Type 26 Diabetes, Neonatal and Pediatric Brain Injury7, Autism8, Cerebral Palsy9, Stroke10, Spinal Cord Injury11, Alopecia12, Alzheimer’s Disease13, and Cartilage Defects14. The existence of clinical trials does not guarantee that cord blood will be successful in the treatment of those diseases in the future.
4 - Haller MJ, Wasserfall CH, McGrail KM, et al Autologous umbilical cord blood transfusion in very young children with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2009;32:2041-6.
5 - Ziegler AG. Cord blood infusion for Type 1diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Technische Universitat Munchen, NCT00989547 (October 2009).
6 - Zhao Y. Stem Cell Educator Therapy in Type 2 Diabetes. University of Illinois at Chicago, NCT01415726 (February, 2012).
7 - Cotten, C. Cord Blood for Neonatal Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy. Duke University Medical Center. NCT00593242 (October 2013).
8 - Lv, YT. Safety and Efficacy of Stem Cell Therapy in Patients With Autism. Shenzhen Beike Bio-Technology Co., Ltd. NCT01343511 (October 2011).
9 - Kurtzberg J. A randomized study of autologous umbilical cord blood reinfusion in children with cerebral palsy. Duke University Medical Center, NCT01147653 (June 2010).
10 - Poon, W. Safety and Feasibility Study of Umbilical Cord Blood Mononuclear Cells Transplant to Treat Ischemic Stroke. China Spinal Cord Injury Network. NCT01673932 (April 2013)
11 - Zhu, H. Umbilical Cord Blood Mononuclear Cell Transplant to Treat Chronic Spinal Cord Injury. China Spinal Cord Injury Network. NCT01354483 (January 2014).
12 - Zhao Y. Stem cell educator therapy in alopecia areata. Tianhe Stem Cell Biotechnologies Inc., NCT01673789 (August 2012).
13 - Na DL. The safety and the efficacy evaluation of NEUROSTEM-AD in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Medipost C Ltd., NCT01297218 (February 2011).
14 - Won-il O. Follow-Up Study of CARTISTEM Versus Microfracture for the Treatment of Knee Articular Cartilage Injury or Defect. Medipost C Ltd., NCT01626677 (November 2013).
Families choosing to store their babies’ cord blood may benefit from having their families’ cord blood stem cells banked for the possible use in any of the current and future potential uses of cord blood. These banked cells may provide them with better15 and possibly more economical options for treatment for various conditions and diseases.
National Marrow Donor Program has stated that each day physicians for more than 6,000 men, women, and children are searching their registry for a potentially life-saving cord blood or bone marrow stem cell match16.
Beginning in 2008, the number of cord blood transplants facilitated by the National Marrow Donor Program has been approximately the same as the number of Bone Marrow transplants17.
Using actual transplant data obtained from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), Nietfeld et al published in 2008 that the likelihood of receiving a stem cell transplant from cord blood, bone marrow or peripheral blood (for current treatable diseases) by age 70 is approximately 1/20018.
15 - Greaves M. Cancer stem cells: Back to Darwin? Semin Cancer Biol 2010;20:65-70.
16 - HRSA, Health resources and services administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [Available at http://www.hrsa.gov/ourstories/organdonation/ (accessed Oct 13, 2015)].
17 - NMDP transplants by cell source. Minneapolis,MN: National Marrow Donor Program,2014. [Available at https://bethematchclinical.org/Transplant-Therapy-and-Donor-Matching/Cell-Sources/ (accessed Oct 13, 2015).]
18 - Nietfeld JJ, Pasquini MC, Logan BR, et al. Lifetime probabilities of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the U.S. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2008;14:316-22