Right after birth and umbilical cord being cut there is up to 150 ml of umbilical cord blood left in it. Rich in stem cells umbilical cord blood represents extremely valuable source for treating a wide range of conditions. While years ago umbilical cord blood used to be discarded as medical waste with the rest of afterbirth, nowadays both doctors and scientists invoke for storing cord blood so that any family had their own stock of stem cells for treating children and closest relatives.
So what are the stem cells? Stem cells are immature cells capable of differentiating into cells of different genesis. During embryogenesis stem cells transform into cells of different tissues thus forming bones, heart, lungs and all the other organs. Adult organism contains the same type of cells on every life stage. However the organism`s own stem cell quantity and quality are constantly decreasing due to infectious diseases, injures and other adverse environmental factors.
Stem cells are divided into several dozens of types based on their properties and origin. On the whole all the stem cells can be divided into two types – adult and embryonal. The usage of latter is restricted due to medical ethic issues, religious tenets and unpredictable consequences of differentiation. Meanwhile umbilical cord blood stem cells are attributed to adult stem cells that are widely used and researched throughout the world owing to their safety and morally acceptable collection process.
Umbilical cord blood contains mostly hematopoietic stem cells. Those cells are capable of differentiating into blood and immune stem cells. These cells are widely used for treating different hematological conditions (malignancies such as leukemia, anemia etc), immune system diseases and neurological conditions.
Apart from umbilical cord blood, bone marrow also contains hematopoietic stem cells. But umbilical cord blood has many more advantages that are especially important to the medical treatment.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are banked right after child`s birth that prevents them from negative environmental and senescence impact. That makes this type of stem cells more active and highly capeble of proliferation and differentiation.
Umbilical cord blood collecting is absolutely simple, painless and safe procedure both for mother and her child. It is conducted in accordance with Ukraine`s Ministry Of Health Care decree №481 dated from 10.07.2014. At the same time bone marrow obtaining requires a two-hour operation with general anesthesia that is as dangerous for health and life as any other serious surgical intervention.
Child`s own umbilical cord blood stem cells are 100% match for them and 25% probable match for their siblings and closest relatives. At the same time chance of finding right allogenic umbilical cord blood or bone marrow donor ranges between 1:1000 and 1:1000000.
Person`s own umbilical cord blood processing for treatment takes several hours while search for matching donor can last for months and even years.
Umbilical cord blood banking costs ten times less than bone marrow or umbilical cord blood donor search.