- Stem cells in the umbilical cord blood are capable of repair and self-renewal of damaged cells and are used in the treatment of various medical conditions.
- In the last 25 years, umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used in over 30,000 stem cell transplants to treat around 80 medical conditions (Lifecell.in, Feb 2016).
Stem cells are powerful. They can divide and renew themselves and are capable turning into specific types of specialized cells – such as blood and nerve cells. Stem cells in the umbilical cord are used in the treatment of various medical conditions, such as a range of blood disorders and immune system conditions such as leukemia, anemia and autoimmune diseases (stemcellsaustralia.edu.au).
Nowadays, umbilical cord stem cell therapy is used in many ongoing clinical trials and research studies to treat the patients and understand disease mechanisms to provide better therapies. Previously discarded as waste material, the umbilical cord blood is now well-known to be useful, treating children with certain blood diseases since 1989 (eurostemcell.org). In the last 25 years, the stem cells have been used in over 30,000 stem cell transplants to treat around 80 medical conditions (Lifecell.in, Feb 2016).
With the consent of the parents, blood can be collected from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby shortly after birth. It contains hematopoietic (blood) stem cells: rare cells normally found in the bone marrow.
Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can make every type of cell in the blood – red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. They are mainly responsible for maintaining blood production throughout our lives. They have been used for many years in bone marrow transplants to treat blood diseases.
There have been several reports suggesting that cord blood may contain other types of stem cells which can produce specialized cells that do not belong to the blood, such as nerve cells (eurostemcell.org).
This treatment results to be very effective, thus there are over 130 public cord blood banks in 35 countries (eurostemcell.org); They are regulated by governments and adhere to internationally agreed safety, quality, and ethical standards.
COPYRIGHT: This article is the property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Elona Xhemaili (The State University of Tetovo, Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Macedonia)