Before deciding to privately bank your newborn’s umbilical cord blood, you are probably wondering what the uses are for your child and other family members.
Stem cells from a newborn’s umbilical cord blood are FDA approved to treat over 80 diseases, helping regenerate the body after chemotherapy, radiation, and other aggressive medical procedures. While that’s a compelling reason to bank cord blood, it is important to understand what these treatments are and how stem cells from your child’s umbilical cord blood can help with recovery.
Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer, like leukemia. For many, stem cells from umbilical cord blood hold the cure.
One of the first things to understand is the difference between treatments where your child uses their own cord blood (autologous) and treatments using your child’s cord blood to treat other family members (allogeneic). There are many diseases that can be treated with autologous cord blood as shown in the table below.
Beyond these diseases, umbilical cord blood holds the promise of treating other diseases. Researchers in Texas concluded that HSCs could be engineered to produce insulin. Another group produced functioning neural cells from umbilical cord blood, showing great potential in the treatment of neurological disorders.