Let’s think of Stem Cells as Legos because they are the primitive master cells, thus, they are the building blocks of the immune and blood cell systems. In addition, in many tissues they help as a kind of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the individual or animal is alive
SO WHAT MAKES STEM CELLS ATTRACTIVE? When a stem cell divides, each new cell receives the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
IMPORTANT STEM CELLS FACTS
They are unspecialized master cells
They can self-renew which implies they are capable of replenishing themselves over long period of time by cell division
They can differentiate into specialized cells so called stem cell potency whenever required in body.
Bone marrow has been the primary reservoir of stem cells; however, they can be received by a less invasive method from the Umbilical cord which is secure for both mother and child.
Stem cells are found in almost every organ of the body including, adipose tissue, dental pulp, etc. The blood forming stem cells (Haematopoietic stem cells) harvest in the bone marrow after birth and abundance of such cells in their naive form are found in cord blood that can be collected during the time of birth of baby.
Lifesavers: Umbilical cord blood has been successfully applied to treat cancer since 1988. In the final 20 years, more than 20,000 patients have received umbilical cord blood transplants for childhood cancer rescue after treatment of cancer with drugs.
Given their unique abilities, Umbilical Cord blood stem cells, in regenerative medicine have been used in transplants for various diseases of blood and immune system as well as metabolic disorders.
Umbilical cord blood-Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) can be curative for malignant and non-malignant diseases like Fanconi’s anaemia, aplastic anaemia, leukaemia’s, metabolic and other congenital disorders.
*Note: The Sources of information are under “ Literature & References”
PRESERVE A TRUE TREASURE: YOUR BABY STEM CELLS
Readily life-saving option for your family
If the need arises and your child needs his own stem cells known as “autologous transplantation”, you salvage time and minimize the evolution of disease.
The probability of obtaining a matched donor stem cell source through a public bank is low. Banking cord blood with a family bank increases the prospects of receiving a matched unit available*
Lessen the chances of Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD). The body is less likely to turn down the graft as the stem cells used are from a family banked cord blood unit. Autograft should not give GVHD.
HLA mismatch might be better tolerated in the UCBT (umbilical cord blood transfusion) setting than Bone Marrow Transplantation.
What is Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD)?
Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD) is a common side effect of any transplant when the immune cells of the recipient’s body do not recognize the donor’s cells and start attacking them, thus leading to failure of the transplant. The GVHD is usually associated with stem cell or bone marrow transplant, as well as other forms of tissue graft
GVHD is broadly categorized into 2 types, the acute and chronic where its symptoms can range from modest to serious. This can be especially life threatening if the stem cells of the related or unrelated donor regard the recipient’s body as foreign and do not adequately match the recipient.