Cord blood stem cells form the body’s blood and immune systems, and cord tissue stem cells form the body’s skeletal and connective tissues. They represent two vastly different types of stem cells that can potentially be used to treat different diseases and conditions within the body.
Banking both cord blood and umbilical cord tissue can have a number of advantages for families looking to provide protection for their family’s future.
Additionally, the ability of cord tissue stem cells to suppress the body’s immune response has prompted doctors to use them in unison with cord blood stem cells to reduce the serious effects of transplant rejection, also known as Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD).
By using cord tissue stem cells along with cord blood stem cells, researchers have reported quicker cell engraftment and better transplant outcomes.
If you donate your baby’s cord blood to a public cord blood bank, they may discard the cord blood unit or sell it to a research facility. In fact, 80% of all cord blood samples donated to public banks are not stored for future transplantation.1
If your baby’s cord blood is donated to a public bank, and later a family member falls ill with a life-threatening disease or condition, there is a high probability that your child’s cord blood will not be available to you when needed for a transplant.
Private banking of both cord blood and cord tissue will provide your family with the most complete scope of future treatment options, and it will always be available when you need it.
If your child or a family member is suffering from a life-threatening condition, such as lymphoma, leukemia, sickle-cell anemia, or one of many other 80 diseases and conditions that are FDA-approved for treatment using cord blood stem cells, banking your baby’s cord blood may be their best chance of survival, recovery, and a renewed quality of life.
The stem cells found in cord blood (hematopoietic stem cells, also known as HSCs), are the building blocks of the body’s blood and immune systems. They have been used in stem cell transplants for over 30 years and have been approved by the FDA to effectively repair and replace tissue that has been damaged by many serious diseases.
HSCs from cord blood are considered one of the best sources of healthy stem cells for use in transplants. They provide a perfect genetic match for your newborn and are a high probability of being a match for immediate family members as well. Because of this, stem cells from your baby’s cord blood substantially reduce the life-threatening risk of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) for your child and your family, should they ever require a stem cell transplant.
Furthermore, umbilical cord blood has been shown to contain 10 times more HCSs than bone marrow. Cord blood stem cells are also substantially more viable and stable than other sources as they are much less likely to have been exposed to latent diseases and DNA degradation.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MCSs) from cord tissue have the amazing ability to suppress the body’s immune response. As a result, doctors have been transplanting MSCs in conjunction with HCSs to significantly reduce the risk of GVHD in transplant patients even further.
Cord tissue stem cells are one of the most cutting-edge advancements in the field of regenerative medicine to-date. There are more than 300 clinical trials underway using MSCs that show promise in treating a wide range of diseases and conditions. Upon the conclusion of these clinical trials, it is expected that many new therapies utilizing MCSs from cord tissue will be approved by the FDA.
1 Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016-31-May from PGCB: Cord Blood Introduction: Cord Blood Infographic: http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/cord-blood-infographic
Banking your baby's cord tissue as well as your baby’s umbilical cord blood will help minimize, and in some cases eliminate the risk of GVHD, a potentially fatal condition.