The concept of “cord blood stem cell” is not a recent discovery. It was in the early 1960s that researchers Joseph Altman and Gopal Das presented evidence of adult neurogenesis, ongoing stem cell activity in the brain. Like many others before their time, the scientist duo was laughed at and not treated with any faith or friendship. However, with the passage of time, several other researchers also conducted studies that pointed to the near magical benefits of umbilical cord blood stem cell.
The list of medical conditions that the umbilical cord blood or stem cells can help rectify is long and continues to grow. Cord blood cells are helpful in the treatment of more than forty life-threatening diseases. Cord blood research continues to throw up new possibilities on a daily basis. While this has given hope to a large number of patients, it does need to be emphasized that many cures depend on the condition of the patient, the complexity of the disease and a number of genetic issues that are still not fully understood.
Medical science is evolving rapidly and many diseases or conditions thought incurable just a few years ago are perfectly manageable today. Therefore, it may be prudent to plan ten to fifteen years ahead. Stem cells and cord blood banks give you a capability to plan.
Cancers – Umbilical cord blood offers great hope in cases of many complex cancers such as
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
Juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (JCML)
Many complete cures have been reported (along with cases where the treatment did not do as well). Taken holistically, there is no doubt that stem cells offer a great new avenue for the body to heal itself.
Many Immunodeficiency conditions have found great help from baby cord blood. Some of the well-publicized conditions that are helped by cord blood research are:
Severe combined immune deficiency (SCID and SCID-ADA)
X-linked lymphoproliferative disease
Leukocyte adhesion deficiency
Several failures of the bone-marrow systems are also helped a great deal by the umbilical cord blood. Some key conditions are:
Severe aplastic anemia
Besides the above, there are a number of inborn errors of metabolism that can be corrected by the use of cord blood donation by a parent or from a cord blood bank. These are serious disorders that can make a significant impact to the lives of individuals but fortunately can be corrected today. These errors of metabolism are:
Severe aplastic anemia
This truly may be a case where the child is the father of man as where there is no treatment or panacea available to medical practitioners, the stem cell cord blood offers the nearest to a magic wand that we have seen yet.