Since the first stem cell transplant occurred more than 50 years ago (1957), there has been a nearly exponential increase in stem cell transplants, and in late 2012, the millionth stem cell transplant occurred, a landmark event in stem cell medicine.
Cord blood stem cells have distinct advantages over other sources, including that they are:
- More adaptable
- More pure
These traits result from cord blood stem cells being the earliest (non-controversial) stem cells that can be extracted from a living human, and therefore haven’t been exposed to viruses, chemicals, or pollutants in the environment that can alter cell function.
While bone marrow stem cells are the most commonly recognized type of stem cell used in transplant, cord blood stem cells are increasingly showing advantages over other stem cell sources, including reduced immune reactions (such as GvHD) and a greater flexibility for HLA-mismatched cord blood units to be used in transplant.
However, many expectant parents still do not fully understand the significance of cord blood storage or grasp the technical aspects that characterize it. This is also true of many investors who are evaluating opportunities for investing in the cord blood banking market.