(…) Since 2006, according to NECBB records, the number of banked units used in transplants has doubled. The company attributes this increase in cord blood usage to the ever evolving research surrounding cord blood stem cells.
“We have always reminded parents that stem cell therapies are advancing very quickly and it is difficult to know what the possibilities are. The fact that more parents are using cells they stored suggests that the scope of treatments available is encouraging,” said Dr. David Matzilevich, Chief Scientific Officer of NECBB. “We are confident that the cells found in cord blood are extremely valuable and will only prove to be more so as time goes on.”
Over 80 diseases can be treated with the use of cord blood, including some types of juvenile diabetes and chronic leukemia. Cord blood collection poses no threat to the baby and therefore, circumvents the ethical issues of embryonic stem cells. The cells are taken from the cord after it is cut from the mother and baby.
For over 20 years, cord blood transplants have produced positive results. In 1988, a three-year- old girl received a cord blood transplant to treat Fanconi’s anemia. In 1991, another child was treated for myelogenous leukemia with cord blood stem cells and the transplant was a success. Since then, two-thirds of cord blood transplants performed have been for malignant conditions and overall have shown a high rate of success. The rising numbers of transplants reported by NECBB proves further that the achievements of cord blood banking will only grow (…)