July is National Cord Blood Awareness Month in Salt Lake City
What Parents Need to Know About Cord Blood: How Stem Cells are Used for Medical Treatment
Cord Blood is Currently Used in the Treatment of Nearly 80 Diseases Today
Cord blood has been used in transplant medicine for nearly 30 years and can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases, including certain types of cancers, genetic diseases, and blood disorders.
Approved Uses of Cord Blood:
Cord blood is approved only for use in “hematopoietic stem cell transplantation” procedures, which are done in patients with disorders affecting the hematopoietic (blood forming) system. Cord blood contains blood-forming stem cells that can be used in the treatment of patients with blood cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas, as well as certain disorders of the blood and immune systems, such as sickle cell disease and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
“Cord blood is useful because it is a source of stem cells that form into blood cells. Cord blood can be used for transplantation in people who need regeneration, that is, ‘regrowth,’ of these blood-forming cells,” Wonnacott says.
For instance, in many cancer patients, the disease is found in the blood cells. Chemotherapy treatment of these patients kills both cancer cells and the healthy blood-forming stem cells. Transplanted stem cells from cord blood can help regrow the healthy blood cells after the chemotherapy. However, cord blood is not a cure-all.
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Parents have a choice between donating cord blood to a public bank for free, or paying a private bank to store it for their family. To learn more about cord blood banking, visit Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation at https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en
“Over the past decade, clinical trials are developing therapies with cord blood and cord tissue for disorders that affect brain development in early childhood, such as cerebral palsy and autism, and other illnesses.“
Help spread the word about the importance of blood donations.
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