Hey expectant parents! As you near the end of this beautiful pregnancy journey, you may have already started to plan for your young one’s grand arrival. We know your dear baby matters the world to you, and you’ve probably already prepped up the nursery, wardrobe, and collated all the vaccine names. As you prepare for your newest family member, you may have created a wishlist of necessities. And while you’re at it, we’d like you to suggest one more addition to your list that could not only safeguard your baby but entire family from the impact of 90+ diseases: stem cell banking.
We’re sure that you have come across the term “stem cells” at some point and may have even done some research on the topic. However, if you haven’t, there’s no need to worry. In this quick guide to stem cell banking, we’ll provide you with insights on stem cells and explain why banking them can be advantageous. So, are you ready to learn about stem cell banking? Let’s begin!
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into various types of cells throughout the body.1 The cells in your brain, blood, liver, and heart muscle can be regenerated from stem cells.2 Additionally, they also serve as a unique “repair system” for your body.1
Types Of Stem Cells
Stem cells are broadly classified into 4 categories which are:3
- Adult stem cells
- Embryonic stem cells
- Fetal stem cells
- Cord blood stem cells
Sources Of Stem Cells
Did you know that each of these stem cells have varying sources of origin? Adult stem cells are found inside human bone marrow. Embryonic stem cells are only found in the inner cell mass of a human blastocyst (early embryonic stage of a baby). Fetal stem cells are extracted from a fetus, and can be harvested from an embryo after the 8th week. Moreover, they can also be taken from the fetal blood, bone marrow, or other fetal tissues like the liver and kidneys. While, cord blood stem cells are taken from the umbilical cord, as the name suggests.2,4,5,6
If you’re interested in learning more about the sources and types of different stem cells, click here!
Now that you know the basics of stem cells, you’re probably curious about how they can be used and what makes them so special. To get the answers to these questions, just read on.
Stem Cells: What Makes Them So Special?
Stem cells are special because they have three unique characteristics that set them apart from normal cells in your body. These characteristics include:1
- The ability to divide and renew themselves over time
- Being unspecialized, meaning they do not perform specific functions within the body7
- They start functioning independently once differentiated into specialized cells like the brain, muscle, and blood cells
Different Uses Of Stem Cells
It may come as a surprise to many of you that different kinds of stem cells have been used and are continuously being used to cure, treat, and manage multiple medical conditions. However, it’s important to note that not all types of stem cells can be employed for these purposes. The usage of embryonic stem cells in particular, raises significant ethical dilemmas as they need to be extracted from live human embryos.2
In contrast, cord blood stem cells have shown great potential in the treatment, research, and cure of numerous medical conditions. And could be safely used. Given below is a table demonstrating all the diseases approved by FDA that could be treated by cord blood stem cells:8
|Cancers||Blood Disorders||Immune Disorders||Metabolic Disorders|
|Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia||Acute Myelofibrosis||Ataxia-Telangiectasia||Adrenoleukodystrophy|
|Acute Myelogenous Leukemia||Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia||Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome||Hunter’s Syndrome|
|Acute Biphenotypic Leukemia||Amyloidosis||Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia||Hurler’s Syndrome|
|Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia||Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anaemia||Chediak-Higashi Syndrome||Krabbe Disease|
|Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute Undifferentiated Leukemia||Congenital Amegakaryocytosis Thrombocytopenia||Chronic Granulomatous Disease||Metachromatic Leukodystrophy|
|Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia||Aplastic Anemia||Common Variable Immunodeficiency||Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome|
|Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia||Beta Thalassemia Major||DiGeorge Syndrome||Metachromatic Leukodystrophy|
|Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia||Diamond Blackfan Anaemia||Erythropoietic Porphyria||Morquio Syndrome|
|Multiple Myeloma||Essential Thrombocythemia||Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis||Mucolipidosis|
|Medulloblastoma||Fanconi Anemia||Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome||Niemann-Pick Disease|
|Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia||Glanzmann Thrombasthenia||Infantile Genetic Agranulocytosis (Kostmann Syndrome)||Osteopetrosis|
|Plasma Cell Leukemia||Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)||Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency||Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease|
|Hodgkin’s Lymphoma||Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria||Lymphoproliferative Disorders||Sandhoff Disease|
|Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma||Polycythemia Vera||Lymphoproliferative Disorders-X linked||Sanfilippo Syndrome|
|Neuroblastoma||Pure Red Cell Aplasia||Myelokathexis||Scheie Syndrome|
|Retinoblastoma||Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts||Neutrophil Actin Deficiency||Sly Syndrome|
|Refractory Anemia||Omenn Syndrome||Wolman Disease|
|Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts In Transformation||Reticular Dysgenesis|
|Refractory Anemia with Ringed Sideroblast||Pearson’s Syndrome|
|Sickle Cell Disease||SCID (X-linked)|
|SCID with absence of normal B cells and T-cells|
|SCID with absence of T and B cells|
After learning about the distinct qualities of stem cells and how they could be used to protect one from the impact of numerous diseases, let’s now discuss a few common FAQs about blood stem cell banking .
Common FAQs About Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking!
Q1. How Are Cord Blood Stem Cells Collected?
After the baby is born, the doctor clamps and cuts the umbilical cord. Then, using a sterile needle, the doctor draws out blood from the umbilical cord and collects it in a blood collection bag.9
Q2. How Much Blood Is Required For Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking?
Approximately 90 to 100 ml of blood is collected for cord blood stem cell banking.9
Q3. Can Only The Baby Be Treated With Cord Blood Stem Cells?
Q4. Is Cord Blood Banking Allowed In India?
Yes, stem cell banking is permissible by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in India.11
We sincerely hope that this blog has provided you with valuable insights on cord blood stem cell banking. If we have successfully raised your awareness about the benefits of stem cells, then the purpose of creating this guide to stem cell banking has been fulfilled!
Congratulations in advance & hoping to meet you soon for your baby’s cord blood stem cell preservation soon!
If you have any questions or queries with regards to stem cell banking, our experts are here to help! Just call us @ 1800 266 5511 or Click here.