There have been significant discoveries in the field of stem cell research, but the concept about what cord blood banking is remains unclear to most parents. This lack of correct information combined with paranoia that something could go wrong with their child in the future is giving impetus to the cord banking business. Therefore, it is crucial that you receive correct and factual information about cord blood banking, especially if you’re expecting a child in the near future.
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord is the lifeline between the mother and child. The term ‘cord blood’ implies to blood that remains in the umbilical cord after the baby is born. Over 5000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide since its initial clinical use in 1988. Storing umbilical cord blood stem cells when they are young is beneficial to patients due to greater engraftment potential, and self-renewal and differentiation capacity of these cells. In addition, these stem cells are more immunologically naïve and patients who receive them are less likely to reject them. They have lesser probability of developing graft versus host disease as compared to the hematopoietic stem cells obtained from the bone marrow.
As such, cord blood stem cells can be successfully used even when there is no perfect match between the donor and the recipient. The collection of cord blood is also a simple, safe, quick and painless procedure. It is important for the family whose baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells are stored to know that autologous cord blood stem cells of the baby may never be used for the baby in case of leukaemia or other blood related disorders, which could occur during childhood. In such cases, it has been medically proven that HLA-matched allogenic stem cells from the donor are the best therapeutic option. A baby, whose umbilical cord has been stored with Unistem will have the advantage of obtaining HLA-matched cord blood stem cells.
This can be done either from Unistem’s Public cord blood bank, free of cost, should the HLA-matched umbilical cord blood stem cells be available. In the absence of availability, Unistem will facilitate through its membership with the International Bone Marrow and Umbilical Cord Blood Donor Registry with its headquarters located in the Netherlands and affiliated with public banks globally, to get the right HLA-matched stem cells for the child. Unistem is the first and only company associated with stem cell research and therapy, and cord blood banking in India from the umbilical cord.