According to the American Pregnancy Association, cord blood is the blood that stays inside the umbilical cord and placenta after the baby is born. While many people choose to dispose of the blood, others consider storing and preserving it for various health-related reasons. Similarly, some mothers choose to bank cord tissue as well.
Cord blood is typically collected through two methods: syringe or bag. A syringe is used to draw blood for the umbilical cord, or the blood is drained into a bag. Cord tissue can be frozen whole or processed into smaller pieces or isolated cells.
Because both cord blood and tissue are retrieved from the umbilical cord after it’s been cut, there are no associated health risks. What these components can do, however, is improve quality of life for people who have health conditions that run in their family.
Stem cells in cord blood and tissue
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, cord blood is approved for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation procedures. The stem cells in cord blood can be used to treat blood cancers and certain immune system disorders, such as leukemia and sickle cell disease.
“Stem cells in cord blood can be used to treat blood cancers and certain immune system disorders.”
“Cord blood is useful because it is a source of stem cells that form into blood cells,” Keith Wonnacott, Ph.D., Chief of the Cellular Therapies Branch in FDA’s Office of Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies said. “Cord blood can be used for transplantation in people who need regeneration, that is, ‘regrowth,’ of these blood-forming cells.”
In terms of cord tissue banking, Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation reported that there are currently eight different stem cell therapy products with regulatory approval that are being used to treat conditions such as graft versus host diseases, degenerative arthritis, Crohn’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among many other diseases.
Stem cell research at the Longevity & Stem Cell Centre of Houston
At the Longevity & Stem Cell Centre of Houston, we’re fascinated by the way stem cell research has transformed over the years and continues to remain a very relevant topic. Banking cord blood and tissue is another way parents can preserve family members’ health in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about stem cell banking at the Longevity Centres, contact us directly today. We look forward to providing the educational material you need to consider a complimentary consultation.