Reasons why you should preserve umbilical cord cells
The umbilical cord blood of the newborn is a source of stem cells that already suppose a life expectancy for thousands of patients all over the world.
If you are thinking of freezing the umbilical cord cells of your baby, here are some keys that you should know beforehand.
What is umbilical cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after the birth of a baby.
It is rich in blood stem cells (called hematopoietic stem cells), similar to those found in the bone marrow, and can be used to treat many types of cancer, immune deficiencies, and genetic disorders.
These cells are what we call “non-specialized”, which means they have the capacity to become blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets) and the cells of the immune system that the body needs.
What are the advantages of storing umbilical cord stem cells?
Cord blood transplants have been shown to cure patients with a variety of serious conditions.
The umbilical cord blood collected at birth is a rich source of stem cells that can be used in research and in the clinic to treat diseases of the blood and the immune system, such as leukaemia, anaemia and autoimmune diseases.
These stem cells are used mainly in the treatment of children, but they have also begun to be used in adults after chemotherapy treatment.
Another type of cell that can also be collected from umbilical cord blood is mesenchymal stromal cells. These cells can become bone, cartilage and other types of tissues.
With the consent of the parents, blood can be extracted from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby shortly after birth.
This does not harm either the baby or the mother, it is blood that would otherwise be discarded as biological waste along with the placenta after birth.
Umbilical cord blood can be collected and stored in a cord blood bank, either in public or private cord blood banks.