For many years, cord blood stem cells have been the preferred therapeutic modality for the treatment of nearly 80 critical diseases and conditions, including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and various forms of anemia. Cord blood stem cells have been a vital component of advanced biomedicine because of their amazing ability to rebuild and replace tissue that has been damaged by diseases, chemotherapy or other medical conditions. Now, parents can greatly increase their family’s future treatment options by saving their baby’s umbilical cord tissue along with the cord blood.
While cord blood stem cells form the body’s blood and immune system, cord tissue stem cells, also known as Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), are the building blocks of the body’s skeletal and connective tissues. They exemplify two vastly different types of stem cells that can potentially be used to treat very different diseases within the body. MSCs represent the most advanced, cutting--edge discoveries in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and gene therapy due to their robust ability to differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone, nerve, cartilage, and muscle. The tremendous excitement over cord tissue stem cells in the scientific community has been validated with over 300 documented clinical trials and numerous research studies in process. In fact, scientists predict an explosion of new MSC therapies being universally adopted, including standard, routine treatments for diabetes, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, heart failure, cirrhosis, and many more. The potential applications are so broad that current estimates indicate approximately 1 in 3 Americans could benefit from this type of regenerative medicine.
It is important to note, though, that most clinical trials require patients to provide their own (autologous), privately banked stem cells to be eligible for participation. Additionally, cord tissue stem cells are considered immunoprivileged. Their ability to suppress the body’s immune response has prompted doctors to use them in unison with mismatched cord blood stem cells to reduce the effects of transplant rejection (graft--versus--host disease). By using cord tissue stem cells along with unrelated cord blood stem cells, researchers have reported quicker cell engraftment and better transplant outcomes. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear that private banking of both cord blood and cord tissue provides families with the most complete scope of future treatment options. Though the potential future use for cord tissue stem cells is nothing short of miraculous, the unfortunate reality is that many families are simply unaware of their option to save this valuable resource. Very few companies provide cord tissue banking services, and public banks will not accept donated umbilical cord tissue