What is stem cell?
A stem cell is a cell with the unique ability to develop into specialized cell types in the body. Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells. These daughter cells either become new stem cells or specialized cells with a more specific function, such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells or other. No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types.
Umbilical cord is a rich source of stem cells
Stem cells can be obtained from adult person from bone marrow, fat tissue and blood. The most valuable source of stem cells is the newborn’s umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord.
Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), found in cord blood are used routinely in transplant medicine and form part of standard therapies for over 85 conditions.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) found in cord tissue have the potential to be used in future treatment of very wide scale of diseases.
Read here, how to store stem cells.
What for the stem cells are used?
Should a child face any of a vast range of health issues in the childhood or later life, stem cells may be the key to repairing and restoring their good health. Your baby’s umbilical cord is a rich source of invaluable stem cells that may one day prove a lifesaver. In addition, the stem cells may protect the family’s future health. This is because those same stem cells also offer a high chance of a match with their siblings, as well as a high chance of a match with the parents. The chances of using a sample have steadily increased through the years and are expected to increase even further.
HSC-s have been used for more than 20 years. They are used as standard for 85 diagnosis already, mainly for various and also life threatening blood diseases. Read more
MSC-s have been proven to lend itself to a number of regenerative therapies including the production of connective tissue such as bone and cartilage, the rehabilitation of damaged skin, liver, neurological cells, etc… These methods are under clinical studies and will be taken into wider usage after some years. What kind of scientific studies are going on, please read here.
- There have been over 40,000 recorded cord blood transplantations worldwide.
- The first successful transplantation was performed in 1988 already. Stem cell treatment has been used for more than 20 years already.
- The stem cells are used as a standard therapy for more than 85 diseases. Read more
- At present there are over 300 clinical trials currently underway for many different diseases and conditions.
Future Health Biobank
- Future Health Biobank have released over 90 samples for treatment of various blood diseases and conditions such as Celebral Palsy, Fanconi’s Anaemia, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), Beta Thalassemia, Diamond Blackfan Anaemia and other regenerative medicine applications.
- The first successful transplantation was done for a teenage boy, who had Fancony’s anemia (a life threatening bone marrow disease). He didn’t have his own stem cells stored, but his younger sister’s cells, which were processed and cryopreserved by Future Health Biobank, were used. The procedure was successful and today he continues to lead a normal and healthy life.
- Future Health Biobank is storing more than 150,000 samples from over 75 different countries worldwide.