Newborn cord stem cells: what are they for

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Newborn cord stem cells: what are they for

In recent years there has been much discussion about the possibility of storing or donating stem cells, because they are used in some life-saving techniques, in particular in the case of oncohematological diseases. But how does the process work?





Newborn cord stem: we clarify when it is possible keep them, if they can to donate and what they are for.

In this article

  • Stem cells of the cord
  • Why is cord blood used
  • Donation or storage of cord stem cells

Stem cells of the cord

Il transplant of marrow stem cells is an innovative technique particularly suitable for treating certain types of blood cancers, such as leukemia, and other pathologies. But to intervene with a life-saving transplant in patients suffering from oncohematological diseases you need to quickly find a compatible donor: for this reason, in recent years, more and more use has been made of stamina cells present at birth in the umbilical cord, capable of reconstructing the bone marrow following therapies (such as radio or chemo) or in case of other health problems such as thalassemia, some immunodeficienze o metabolic defects



Read also: Umbilical cord: more information expected for future parents

Why is cord blood used

Il cord blood, that is the one contained by the cord and from placenta, is rich in blood stem cells, Then hematopoietic, capable of generating other blood cells, including those of immune system. Since 1988, its collection has therefore been a safe way to obtain stem cells for transplantation, which seem to be more compatible than other techniques (such as bone marrow transplantation). 



The only drawback is that, compared to the bone marrow, cord blood contains fewer stem cells, which is why a greater quantity (double) is needed. To date the search aims to increase the amount of stem cells obtained from cord blood, in order to expand their use as much as possible, precisely because of its better compatibility with the recipient's immune system. 

At this time the cord stem cells they are mainly used to treat oncological diseases of the blood, but researchers are studying different ways of using it so they can treat other diseases as well. 

Donation or storage of cord stem cells

Many future parents they wonder if it's better donate or store cord stem cells of your child. The difference between the two cases lies in both their feasibility and their usefulness.

Donation of cord blood

The donation of cord stem cells is now a widespread practice in Del Paese: it is a decision voluntary, participation e anonymous that all new parents can do, informing themselves in time (before birth) in the structure where the delivery. If you opt for the donation, stem cells will be taken and then preserved From one cord blood bank, that is, a health facility authorized to store, treat and distribute stem cells in case of compatibility for a transplant. It is therefore an altruistic act, which allows a patient to receive treatment. 

Private storage of stem cells

Completely different is the choice to keep stem cells for themselves (for their children). In rare cases, when a relative of the newborn is ill at birth and needs a stem cell transplant, in case of compatibility it is possible to use the cord blood collected. But otherwise the conservation for private purposes it is not allowed in Del Paese: you can only agree with a foreign structure that will take care of storing the stem cells taken at the time of birth, obviously paid.

But be careful: there is none scientific evidence what witnesses the usefulness of conservation to use autologous

Read also: Umbilical cord conservation, the Antitrust wand the banks

I advances in science in the field of stamina cells there are many, for this reason the voluntary donation of cord blood is more and more frequent, while the research on autologous use they are still in progress and have not yet confirmed their usefulness. If you are wondering whether or not to donate stem cells from your child's cord, inquire at the facility where the birth will take place: they will be able to show you the best choice.

SOURCES

Umbilical cord blood

Cord blood

That cord full of life

TAG:
  • umbilical cord
  • umbilical cord blood donation
  • stem cord
  • cord conservation
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