Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Pros and Cons of Cord Blood Banking

If you are an expectant parent, then you might be probably hearing about the umbilical cord blood banking services and its benefits. As the name implies, Cord blood or CB is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta, that can be harvested right after the child birth. Up until the discovery of stem cell presence in the cord blood, it was discarded as a medical waste. Stem cells, also known as the master cells of human body have a remarkable potential to serve as a sort of repair system. Moreover, its ability to differentiate into other specialised cells offers a promising approach for the regenerative medicine research and other therapeutic applications. Recent advancements in the cord blood cell therapies and transplants have significantly changed the scope of stem cell research. 

Why expectant parents should think about banking their new-born’s cord blood?  Umbilical cord blood, being a rich source of stem cells can turn out to be a lifesaving option for the treatment of many serious diseases and disorders –including cancer, blood disorders, immune system disorders and genetically inherited diseases. Several clinical trials are underway exploring the cord tissue banking benefits.Cord blood containsHematopoietic stem cells which develop into blood-related cells, whereas cord tissue contains Mesenchymal stem cells which develop into structural and connective tissues. According to the researchers, cord tissue stem cell banking may prove useful in treating the spinal cord injuries and strokes in near future. 

Umbilical cord blood banking can prove valuable in limited circumstances, but the chances that your baby will ever need it are slim to none. Also, cord blood stem cell banking is not a sure-fire thing as it can’t cure everything. For instance, if a child has got leukemia, doctors would generally prefer for a stem cell match from another donor as the child’s cord blood has the same genes that permitted the leukemia to develop in the first place.So, it is always up to the expectant parents to decide whether or not to bank their new-born’s umbilical cord blood. 

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