Umbilical cord stem cells are present within the cord that connects a newborn to its mother and uses of these birth cells include treating cancers, diseases, injuries, and more. Umbilical cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are multipotent stem cells that can give rise to other blood and immune system cells.
Stem cells can also be collected from a newborn’s:
- Umbilical cord tissue (Wharton’s jelly)
Most commonly, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from cord blood are used to treat blood cancers, such as leukemia. When compared to hematopoietic stem cells from genetically matched bone marrow donor, cord blood HSCs may provide some medical advantages, including fewer immune system complications, such as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).
In recent years, regenerative medicine has continued to increase the list of medical uses for stem cells from umbilical cord. Find out more about current and future uses of umbilical cord stem cells below.
In this article:
- Current Uses of Stem Cells
- Potential Uses for Stem Cells
Uses of Stem Cells in Treating Various Diseases
Cord blood stem cells are cells found within the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies. These valuable cells can be used to treat over 80 different conditions, as described below. These cells are also being explored in hundreds of clinical trials worldwide, which could dramatically expand future and potential uses.
For those who didn’t store their stem cells at birth, stem cells are also found in many tissues of the adult human body. For example, there are stem cells present within adult bone marrow, adipose (fat) tissue, and peripheral blood.
CURRENT USES OF STEM CELLS FROM CORD BLOOD
Blood disorders are medical conditions which involve a problem with either the platelets, red blood cells, or white blood cells. There are different types of blood disorders and stem cell treatments are currently being used to transplant healthier blood cells.
1. Acute Myelofibrosis
Acute myelofibrosis is a bone marrow failure due to collagen build-up, which results in scar tissues along the marrow. This scarring then stops the body’s ability to produce healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. The available potential cure for this disease is an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
2. Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia
Agnogenic myeloid metaplasia is a chronic disease where the bone marrow is filled with fibrous tissue, while the blood is produced in other parts of the body such as the liver and spleen. Allogeneic stem cell transplants have shown to be more effective than aggressive chemotherapy.
Amyloidosis is characterized by a buildup of an abnormal protein (or amyloid) due to the bone marrow and is deposited into other organs and tissues. This buildup is destroyed by chemotherapy and then replaced with hematopoietic stem cells to create a healthier bone marrow.
4. Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia is caused by bone marrow failure which leads to a great deficiency in the production of all types of blood cells. Stem cell transplants help rebuild and repair the bone marrow to help treat aplastic anemia.
5. Beta Thalassemia Major
Beta thalassemia major is a genetic disease where the red blood cells malfunction due to a mutation in the beta-globin gene. Current treatment for this blood disorder is a stem cell transplant. The stem cells circulate toward the bone marrow and help it produce healthier blood cells.
6. Blackfan-Diamond Anemia
Blackfan-Diamond anemia is a rare blood disorder where the bone marrow fails to produce any red blood cells. The only cure for this life-threatening disease is a stem cell bone marrow transplant.
7. Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia (CAT)
CAT is a rare and genetic blood disorder where there is a very low number of platelets in the body due to a bone marrow failure. Hematopoietic stem cells are transplanted into the body and later develop into platelets.
8. Congenital Cytopenia
Congenital cytopenia is another rare genetic blood disorder where there is insufficient amount of mature blood cells in the body. The only cure for this blood disorder is a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
9. Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia (CDA)
CDA is a type of anemia which is both rare and genetic and requires the patient to be transfusion-dependent throughout their life. Bone marrow suppression and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation have been used to treat this disorder.
10. Dyskeratosis Congenita
Dyskeratosis congenita is a genetic and progressive disorder characterized by bone marrow failure and the inability to produce blood cells. The only present cure for this blood disorder is a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to correct the bone marrow failure.
11. Essential Thrombocythemia
Essential thrombocythemia is a chronic blood disorder where there is an unusually high amount of platelets in the blood. Patients with this disorder are often given a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to help regulate the bone marrow’s platelet production.
12. Fanconi Anemia
Fanconi anemia is an inherited bone marrow disorder that results in insufficient production of all types of blood cells. The current treatments for Fanconi anemia are hematopoietic stem cell transplants and autologous stem cell gene therapy.
13. Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia
Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia is a genetic platelet bleeding disorder due to a defect in the platelet membrane. Hematopoietic stem cell transplants have been used as a curative treatment for patients of this disease.
14. Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
MDS affects the production of blood cells in the bone marrow which results in mutation and abnormal growth. The only available cure for this blood disorder is chemotherapy, which is followed by an allogeneic or autologous stem cell transplants.
15. Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
PNH is a rare and life-threatening blood disorder, characterized by an impaired bone marrow, destruction of red blood cells, and blood clots. Allogeneic stem cell transplants have been used to treat patients suffering from this disorder.
16. Polycythemia Vera
This disorder is a progressively slow type of blood cancer in the bone marrow which results in an unusually high amount of red blood cells. The only cure for this disorder is an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
17. Pure Red Cell Aplasia
Pure red cell aplasia is another type of anemia which affects the red blood cells and causes the bone marrow to stop the production of red blood cells. Stem cell transplants help restore the bone marrow’s health and normalize its production of blood cells.
18. Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts (RAEB)
RAEB is an excess of blasts in the peripheral blood and bone marrow, which could possibly progress into leukemia. Patients diagnosed with this disease are advised to have a stem cell transplant as soon as possible.
19. Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts in Transition (RAEB-T)
RAEB-T is another form of anemia which is now closely classified with the characteristics of acute myeloid leukemia. Stem cell transplantation is the only treatment which can stimulate the blood cells growth factor to cease the transformation.
20. Refractory Anemia with Ringed Sideroblasts (RARS)
RARS is characterized by its ring sideroblasts along with anemia and bone marrow dysfunction. It has to be treated with an allogeneic stem cell transplant before it progresses into AML.
21. Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome is characterized by bone marrow failure, skeletal abnormality, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. The only treatment for this syndrome is an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
22. Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder due to a mutated hemoglobin which causes the red blood cells to become sticky, stiff, and sickle-shaped. Stem cell transplants can reverse the disease and normalize the hemoglobin structure.
Cancers are types of diseases caused by an abnormality in cell growth which results in lumps and tumors. There are, however, types of cancers which are characterized by a failure in the blood function due to an abnormality in the blood’s cell division. Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity in the country. Fortunately, autologous and cell transplants have been successful treatments for cancer.
23. Acute Biphenotypic Leukemia
Acute biphenotypic leukemia is a mix of two types of leukemia; acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It’s treated with a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
24. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
Acute lymphocytic leukemia is characterized by the bone marrow’s excessive production of immature lymphocytes. This type of bone marrow is treated with a high dose of chemotherapy and then followed by a stem cell transplant to allow the bone marrow to regenerate.
25. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
AML is the cancer of myeloid in the blood cells which is characterized by a buildup of abnormal cells in the blood and bone marrow. Both allogeneic and autologous stem cell transplants can be done for AML patients after going through extreme doses of chemotherapy.
26. Acute Undifferentiated Leukemia
Patients diagnosed with acute undifferentiated leukemia often have more than one cell lineage of phenotype, which classifies them under this diagnosis of exclusion. They are often treated with a high dose of chemotherapy and then a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
27. Adult T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma
ATL or ATLL is an aggressive and rare type of cancer of the immune system’s T-cells that are found in the blood and lymph nodes. It is caused by the virus HTLV and an allogeneic stem cell transplant can be an antiviral therapy to prevent it from developing into ATL or ATLL.
28. Chronic Active Epstein Barr (CAEBV)
CAEBV is a progressive and rare disease caused by an Epstein-Barr virus infection. This disease is characterized by an overproduction of lymphocytes in the body for 6 months. The infection can be treated by an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant.
29. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
CLL is a slowly progressive disease which is characterized by the bone marrow’s overproduction of lymphocytes. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are used to treat this disease, but only high doses of chemotherapy prevent a relapse from occurring. Intense chemotherapy is only safe if it is followed by a stem cell transplant.
30. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
CML is similar to CLL but in this case, it is characterized by an overproduction of white blood cells which is often diagnosed in middle age patients. Chemotherapy for this blood and bone marrow disorder is followed by an autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplant.
31. Ewing Sarcoma
Ewing sarcoma is a tumor that grows in the soft tissue around the bones or in the bones of the legs, arms, ribs, spine, and pelvis. It can also spread to the bone marrow and lungs. An autologous stem cell transplant is used to treat this disease in order to destroy the cancer cells in the body.
32. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is a type of blood cancer which originates in the lymphatic system. Patients with HD are treated with combination chemotherapy and followed by an autologous stem cell transplant.
33. Juvenile Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (JCML)
JCML is an aggressive type of slow-growing blood cancer often found in children. It is characterized by an abnormal growth of all types of blood cells. The treatment for this blood cancer is stem cell transplantation to for complete remissions.
34. Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML)
JMML is a rare type of childhood cancer characterized by having an excessive number of white blood cells developed from immature blood stem cells or blasts. The only known treatment for JMML is stem cell transplantation.
35. Myeloid/Natural Killer (NK) Cell Precursor Acute Leukemia
NK cell precursor acute leukemia is characterized by a high incidence of infiltration outside the bone marrow, mediastinum, and lymph nodes. The treatment for this type of leukemia is a combination therapy of allogeneic stem cell transplantation and L-asparaginase.
36. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)
NHL is a type of cancer in white blood cells. It often starts in the lymph tissue or lymph nodes. It is treated with an intense dose of chemotherapy and followed by stem cell transplantation to help the bone marrow regenerate.
37. Prolymphocytic Leukemia (PLL)
PLL is a chronic type of leukemia characterized by an excess of immature white blood cells in the blood and bone marrow. Patients with PLL can be treated with either an autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplant.
38. Plasma Cell Leukemia (PCL)
PCL is an aggressive type of multiple myeloma where there are high levels of abnormal plasma cells in the peripheral blood circulation. Long-term survival has been possible after a combination therapy of VAD, interferon-alpha, and autologous blood stem cell transplantation.
39. Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML)
CMML is a type of bone marrow cancer which starts in the marrow’s blood-forming cells and then spreads to the circulating blood. The only known treatment for CMML is a stem cell transplant.
40. Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (LAD)
LAD is a rare and primary type of immunodeficiency characterized by bacterial infections which are difficult to diagnose until it has progressed. The only curative therapy for this disease is an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
41. Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the plasma cell of white blood cells which accumulates in the bone marrow and hinders the development of healthy blood cells. Chemotherapy is used to treat the multiple myeloma by destroying the cancer cells in the marrow. Then it is followed by stem cell transplantation to help the bone marrow regenerate.
Neuroblastoma is characterized by cancer cells forming in nerve tissues of the spinal cord, adrenal gland, or the chest. This type of cancer is often diagnosed as high risk in children and is treated with autologous stem cell transplantation.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of cancer called a sarcoma which attacks the soft tissues, connective tissues, and the bone. High-dose chemotherapy is needed to kill cancer and then followed by stem cell transplantation.
44. Thymoma (Thymic Carcinoma)
Thymoma and thymic carcinoma are characterized by malignant cancer cells forming around the surface of the thymus. Intensive chemotherapy is used to kill the malignant cancer cells and then a stem cell transplantation helps the bone marrow recover.
45. Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia (WM)
WM is characterized by cancer cells producing large quantities of abnormal protein and cause similar symptoms to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Stem cell transplants are highly recommended for younger patients when other treatments aren’t effective.
46. Wilms Tumor
Wilms tumor is a type of kidney cancer. This malignant tumor is often diagnosed in young children. Chemotherapy is used to get rid of the tumor, followed by an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Immune disorders are characterized by the dysfunction of the immune system of whether is underactive or overactive. In most cases of this disorder, the immune system’s antibodies attack the body instead of foreign or harmful substances. Stem cells have been used to shut off the immune system’s destructive pathological responses while continuing its ability to fight other diseases.
47. Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency (ADA)
ADA is an inherited and severe case of immunodeficiency where the absence of an immune response leaves the body vulnerable to fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. The most effective treatment for this disorder is stem cell gene therapy.
48. Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome
Bare lymphocyte syndrome is caused by gene mutations where a group of genes, MHC class II, are not expressed and result in a compromised immune system. The best treatment for this syndrome is utero stem cell transplantation into the fetus.
49. Chediak-Higashi Syndrome
Chediak-Higashi syndrome is a gene mutation of the lysosomal regulator protein which decreases phagocytosis and leads to albinism, peripheral neuropathy, and pyogenic infections. Stem cell transplantation stops the formation of Chediak-Higashi syndrome.
50. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Patients with a chronic granulomatous disease are extremely immunocompromised and vulnerable to life-threatening infections. They are often recommended to have allogeneic stem cell transplantation to improve their immune system.
51. Congenital Neutropenia
Congenital neutropenia is characterized by a deficiency of neutrophils which makes the patient vulnerable to inflammation and infection. The only current treatment for congenital neutropenia is hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
52. DiGeorge Syndrome
DiGeorge syndrome is also called deletion syndrome because of the absence of chromosome 22 which results in frequent infections, learning problems, heart problems, and developmental delay. A hematopoietic stem cell transplant is the recommended treatment for DiGeorge syndrome.
53. Evans Syndrome
Evans syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder where the immune system destroys its own red blood cells. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is the only known cure for Evans syndrome.
Fucosidosis is a rare lysosomal storage disorder characterized by a buildup of complex sugars in the body due to a gene mutation. The only effective cure for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
55. Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
HLH is a life-threatening disease characterized by overactive T and NK immune cells. This results in inflammation and the body attacking itself. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation helps improve the survival of patients diagnosed with HLH.
56. Hemophagocytosis Langerhans’ Cell Histiocytosis (Histiocytosis X)
Histiocytosis X is a disorder characterized by an excess of histiocytosis in the body which results in the inflammations in the blood vessels and airways in the lungs. The only cure for Histiocytosis X is allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
57. IKK Gamma Deficiency (NEMO Deficiency)
NEMO deficiency is caused by the genetic mutation of the X-linked NEMO gene and results in vulnerability towards bacterial infections all over the body. A new therapy for NEMO deficiency is a stem cell transplantation.
58. Immune Dysregulation, Polyendocrinopathy, Enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) Syndrome
IPEX Syndrome is a rare type of immune disorder characterized by dysfunctional regulatory T-cells and autoimmunity. Stem cell transplantation can help with long-term remission of the syndrome.
59. Kostmann Syndrome
Kostmann syndrome causes a congenital form of neutropenia but without physical malformations and it often manifests during infancy. The only treatment for Kostmann syndrome is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Myelokathexis is an inherited congenital disorder characterized by chronic leukemia and neutropenia. Stem cell transplants are the common treatments offered to children born with this disease.
61. Omenn Syndrome
Omenn syndrome is an inflammatory condition and an autosomal recessive form of combined immunodeficiency. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been successful in improving the quality of life of patients with Omenn syndrome.
62. Phosphorylase Deficiency
Phosphorylase deficiency is an immune disorder where there are insufficient amounts of white blood cells and T-cells. The current treatment for this deficiency is a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
63. Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase Deficiency
Purine nucleoside phosphorylase deficiency results in immunodeficiency because of decreased T-cell function. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is the only successful curative treatment for this immune disorder.
64. Reticular Dysgenesis
Reticular dysgenesis is characterized by insufficient immune function and sensorineural deafness. The only cure for reticular dysgenesis is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
65. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Diseases (SCID)
SCID is a severe combination of thymic alymphoplasia and immunodeficiency disorder where there is an abnormality in B cells and T cells development. The only known treatments for SCID are hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and gene therapy.
66. Thymic Dysplasia
Thymic dysplasia or Nezelof syndrome is an autoimmune disorder caused by an underdeveloped thymus. This is one of the immunodeficiency disorders stem cell transplantation can treat.
67. Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS)
WAS is an immunodeficiency disorder characterized by eczema, autoimmunity, and thrombocytopenia. It can be treated by a transfusion of autologous hematopoietic stem cells.
68. X-linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA)
XLA is a rare and genetic immune disorder characterized by abnormal B cell development which leaves the patient vulnerable to infection. Patients with XLA have been treated with bone marrow and cord blood transplants.
69. X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disorder (XLP)
XLP is characterized by a disorder of the blood-forming cells and immune system. Patients diagnosed with XLP commonly experience an overactive immune response towards the Epstein-Barr. The only cure for XLP is an allogeneic stem cell transplant.
70. X-Linked Hyper IgM Syndrome
X-linked hyper IgM syndrome is characterized by abnormal levels of immunoglobulins and antibodies and is almost exclusive to males. The only curative treatment for this immune disorder is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Metabolic disorders are inherited conditions characterized by problems with metabolism. This condition occurs when there are abnormal chemical reactions in the body. These can be caused by abnormal functions of the liver or pancreas. The recommended treatments for metabolic disorders are pharmacology enzyme replacement therapy, gene therapy, and stem cell transplantation.
71. Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria (Gunther Disease)
Gunther disease is a rare congenital disease characterized by an increased amount of porphyrins in the teeth, bones, bone marrow, and plasma. It can be successfully treated by cord blood stem cell transplantation.
72. Gaucher Disease
Gaucher disease is a genetic metabolic disorder where the body is unable to completely degrade a lipid called glucocerebroside. Severe cases of Gaucher disease have been treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
73. Hunter Syndrome (MPS-II)
Hunter syndrome is a rare and inherited disorder where the body is unable to break down the necessary kind of sugar which builds tissue, tendons, skin, and bones. The only available treatment for Hunter syndrome is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
74. Hurler Syndrome (MPS-IH)
Hurler syndrome is a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by heart disease, respiratory problems, and skeletal abnormalities. To prevent clinical progression, patients are given stem cell transplantation.
75. Krabbe Disease
Krabbe disease is a rare and inherited lysosomal storage disorder which is also characterized by progressive damage to the nervous system. The present most effective treatment for Krabbe disease is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
76. Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
Lesch-Nyhan syndrome is an inherited and rare disease characterized by mental retardation, involuntary muscle movements, and compulsive tendencies to self-mutilation of the hands and head. Its symptoms are caused by an overproduction of uric acid. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been successful in treating inborn diseases such as this.
Mannosidosis is a deficiency in the enzyme mannosidase which results in a lysosomal storage disorder. The only effective treatment for mannosidosis is an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
78. Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome (MPS-VI)
MPS-VI is a rare and inherited disorder characterized by a deficiency of a type of enzyme activity which leads to a buildup of complex carbohydrates in the body. This metabolic disorder can be treated with enzyme replacement therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
79. Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD)
MLD is another lysosomal storage disorder and it is characterized by a buildup of fats or sulfatides in the cells which affects the nervous system. The closest cure for MLD is a bone marrow transplant or a stem cell transplant.
80. Mucolipidosis II (MLII)
MLII is a lysosomal disorder which progresses slowly and is characterized by skeletal abnormalities, growth retardation, facial dysmorphism, developmental delay, and stiff skin. It’s a rare disorder but hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been successful in treating this disease.
81. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten Disease)
Batten disease is a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by a buildup of fats and proteins called lipopigments in the tissues. Neural stem cells have been transplanted into patients with Batten disease to stimulate the regeneration of healthy nerve cells.
82. Niemann-Pick Disease
Niemann-Pick disease is a genetic disease of the lipid metabolism of the body. Patients with this disease have an inability to remove or store cholesterol, lipids, and fats which lead to harmful buildups in the organs. An injection of amniotic membrane stem cells has been successful in treating this disease.
83. Sandhoff Disease
Sandhoff disease is a rare and inherited disorder of the lipid storage of the body which leads to the destruction of the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. The most successful cure for this disease is a bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
84. Sanfilippo Syndrome (MPS-III)
MPS-III is a rare lysosomal storage disease caused by an enzyme deficiency which leaves the body incapable of breaking down glycosaminoglycan. The available treatments for this disease are enzyme replacement therapy and bone marrow or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
85. Scheie Syndrome (MPS-IS)
MPS-IS is the deficiency of the enzyme iduronidase which leads to a buildup of glycosaminoglycans in the body. It is characterized by delayed motor development and skeletal deformities. The most effective treatment for MPS-IS is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
86. Sly Syndrome (MPS-VII)
Sly syndrome is a type of lysosomal storage disorder which results in a buildup of chains of sugar molecules which damages the organs and tissues. This disease can be treated with either bone marrow, cord blood, or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
87. Tay Sachs Disease (TSD)
TSD is a genetic disease where there is a progressive destruction of the nervous system and it is often fatal. Gene therapy and stem cell transplantation have been successful in treating this disease.
88. Wolman Disease
Wolman disease is a congenital metabolic disorder where the body is incapable of breaking down fats. The most successful treatment for Wolman disease is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
89. X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy
X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy affects the adrenal glands and nervous system and is often diagnosed in males. The available treatments for this disease are gene therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Clinical Trial Uses
There are a number of clinical trials being done to assess the safety and efficacy of stem cells to treat various diseases. Some of these trials have already advanced towards Phase II and some continue to show positive results. These trials are often led by hospitals and academic institutes and supported by cord blood banks all to provide samples.
90. Acquired Hearing Loss
The standard treatment for acquired hearing loss has been cochlear implants and hearing aids. However, there is an FDA-regulated clinical trial led by the Florida Hospital for Children to test the potential of stem cell therapy for hearing loss. This study uses the child’s own umbilical cord stem cells and is supported by the Cord Blood Registry.
Autism is a congenital mental condition characterized by difficulty in acquiring skills in communication and language and comprehending social norms. There are a number of stem cell clinical trials for autism led by the Cord Blood Registry, New England Cord Blood Bank, and other institutes.
92. Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is characterized by spastic paralysis or impaired muscle coordination caused by damage to the brain during pregnancy or birth. There is a Phase 2 clinical trial which shows positive results for stem cell transplantation as treatment. This trial evaluated the effectiveness of transplanting into the spinal canal so that the stem cells can reach the cerebrospinal fluid.
93. Pediatric Stroke
A pediatric stroke occurs in children and is caused by an interrupted blood flow toward the brain which destroys brain cells. Cord Blood Registry is in partnership with Florida Hospital for Children to evaluate the potential of stem cells in regenerating the destroyed brain cells.
POTENTIAL USES FOR STEM CELLS
94. Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disease
There are some autoimmune and inflammatory diseases which aren’t treated with stem cell therapy. However, there is research which speculates the potential ability of stem cells to be used as successful treatments.
One of the major causes of morbidity is cancer and it is often treated with chemotherapy. However, some cancers can return or require higher doses of chemo. The risk of intensive chemotherapy is the destruction of the patient’s bone marrow. This can be supplemented, however, by stem cell transplantation to aid the bone marrow’s regeneration.
Diabetes is one of the most common and devastating diseases diagnosed all over the world. It’s characterized by insulin deficiency, insulin resistance, and an autoimmune response which destroys the body’s own insulin. There is no cure for diabetes by researchers have speculated that cell replacement therapy can induce pancreatic regeneration in the patient.
97. Gastrointestinal Disease
Gastrointestinal diseases can affect the stomach, rectum, esophagus, the intestines, liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. There has been a research on incorporating microfluidic engineering induced pluripotent stem cell technology to reprogram the cells and into the mature cell types needed by the patient.
98. Heart and Vascular Disease
Heart and vascular diseases are characterized by damages to the heart. Regenerative medicine then focuses on treating these damages and the stem cells’ ability to differentiate into other cells can repair these damages.
99. Neurological Disease and Injury
Neurological diseases and injury are characterized by damages to the brain, spinal cord, or the nervous system. Neural stem cells continue to be researched to see if they have the potential to fully treat neurodegenerative diseases and repair damaged nerve cells.
100. Ocular Surface Disease
Ocular surface disease is commonly known as dry eye syndrome and is characterized by the destruction of the cornea. Mesenchymal stem cells have exhibited the ability to treat ocular surface disease.
101. Skeletal Disease and Injury
Stem cell research has shown promise in treating skeletal diseases and injury. A lot of athletes have turned to stem cell therapy to speed up the recovery of their sports injuries. Mesenchymal stem cells have also shown the ability to treat bone pathological conditions.
102. Transplant Complications
Transplant complications often occur when it is an allogeneic transplant. Graft-versus-host disease occurs when the patient’s body rejects that of the donors. This occurrence disappears in autologous transplants but this rejection can be treated by a second transplant that includes the donors own blood cells.
103. Vascular Damage
Vascular damages are often caused by strokes or a buildup in the artery walls which reduces blood flow. These damages have the potential to be treated by stem cells because of their ability to differentiate. A transplant of stem cells can be triggered into developing into mature cells to replace the damaged ones.
104. Wounds, Burns, and Ulcers
Regenerative medicine is evaluating the potential of stem cells to assist in accelerating wound-healing. At the same time, stem cell grafts have been applied to burn patients to regenerate skin cells. Mesenchymal stem cells may also assist with the healing of wounds associated with chronic ulcers.
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