Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Milestones in Baby Cord Blood Banking History

Umbilical cord blood banking is a relatively new procedure that has been gaining wide acceptance over the past decade. Blood present in the umbilical cord and placenta is a rich source of adult stem cells. In the past, it was discarded as medical waste. But nowadays, after the child birth, the blood present in the cord is drawn to the sterile collection bank and sent to banks for storage or donation. Baby cord blood can be used to treat more than 80 diseases including cancers, blood disorders and immune deficiencies. Leukemia is one of the most common life-threatening conditions that can be treated with the umbilical cord blood stem cells. Moreover, several clinical trials are underway exploring the umbilical cord tissue benefits and therapeutic applications.  Stem cell research scientists have higher hopes that cord tissue cells can be used to treat the spinal cord injuries and heart damages in near future. So, the expectant families have three options before them – they can throw away the life-saving resource, donate it to a public bank or store it in a private bank. 

Baby cord blood banking industry has been evolving rapidly over the last decade. Why not check out the milestones in stem cell research and cord blood history? The world’s first umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) took place in France on October 1988. The patient was a five year old boy named Mattew Farrow suffering with Fanconi Anemia (FA). This incredible medical event was made possible through an international collaboration.  Dr. Arleen Auerbach, Dr. Hal Broxmeyer and Dr. Eliance Gluckman joined their hands to perform the first umbilical cord blood transplantation at Hospital Saint-Louis in Paris. Mattew Farrow received the donor stem cells from his newborn baby sister. Since then, the field of cord blood research and banking have come a long way and has the potential to revolutionise the field of stem cell research.

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