What are placental stem cells and what are placental stem cells used for? As placental stem cells get explored for a variety of therapeutic applications, these questions become increasingly important. The opportunity to collect placental stem cells is also a once in a lifetime opportunity. [Read more…]
Because cord blood present within a newborn’s umbilical is rich with stem cells, it can be collected and stored for future medical use.
Since its first successful use more than three decades ago, umbilical cord blood has become an increasingly important source of stem cells for transplants for bone marrow failures, leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, and other life-threatening diseases. Over 40,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide for a wide variety of malignant and non-malignant disorders. The first successful cord blood stem cell transplant was performed in 1988 as a treatment for a 5-year-old boy with Fanconi Anemia; his newborn sister’s umbilical cord blood saved his life. Today, more than 80 diseases have FDA-approved cord blood stem cell transplant treatments. [Read more…]
Cancer treatment using very high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy often results in severe injury to a patient’s blood-forming cells, called their hematopoietic (“blood formation”) system. Therefore, radiation therapy is soon followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), which is a method of reconstructing a patient’s blood system that has been destroyed by cancer treatment. Cord blood can also be used as a source of stem cells for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), providing an important alternative to the traditional options of peripheral blood and bone marrow transplant. Importantly, bone marrow and peripheral blood require full tissue matching for use in HSCT, while umbilical cord blood only requires partial matching. [Read more…]
The history of cord blood banking is fascinating, because the service did not exist on a widespread basis until a few decades ago. Below, we introduce key historical events that have affected cord blood and cord tissue storage, both in the U.S. and worldwide.
Since the first stem cell transplant occurred more than 65 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. It is clear that the stem cells contained within cord blood banking now have the potential to improve and save lives. Since the first cord blood transplant was performed in 1988, stem cells derived from umbilical blood have been used in more than 40,000 transplants worldwide. [Read more…]