Stem cells from cord blood are used today for the treatment of serious diseases, such as leukemia, lymphomas, tumors of organs, hereditary and acquired disorders of haematopoiesis (blood formation), the immune system and metabolism, using the transplantation of blood-forming stem cells. However, modern treatment is increasing beginning to utilize the other types of stem cells that cord blood contains. This means the mesenchymal stem cells which have the capacity to differentiate into a wide range of cells influence immunological activity in the body and reduce inflammatory processes. Their capacity is used in the treatment of damaged tissues and organs in regenerative medicine. This means the treatment of cardiac, neurological and autoimmune diseases, acute burns and more.
Treatment with own stem cells (autologous)
This treatment utilizes the patient’s own stem cells. They are used to treat a particular disease which has been acquired, not inherited. In children this is particularly neuroblastomas, lymphomas, leukemia, certain types of cancer and other diseases typical of childhood. With age there is an increasing frequency of the number of diseases which can be treated and globally more blood-forming stem cells are transported using the patient’s own umbilical cord, peripheral blood or bone marrow (60%) than from donor cell (40%). Own stem cells are also being used in clinical trials for the treatment of cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, acute burns and more.
Own cord blood was previously used for transplantation for these diseases: acquired aplastic anemia, neuroblastoma, acute lymphoblastisch leukemia, medulloblastom, retinoblastom, myelodysplastic syndrome, and other cancers. Own umbilical cord blood may be used to treat other diseases.
Using stem cell from cord blood for a sibling (allogeneic)
The most preferred donor for stem cells is a matching sibling. The likelihood of matching tissue type occurs in 25% of cases. If the child has retained its own stem cells in the family bank, in case of necessity and matching they may be used by a sibling too.
If the older sibling is ill and the mother is pregnant at the time, your doctor may recommend collecting cord blood for the needs of siblings. In this case, the parents do not pay for the collection, processing or storage of umbilical cord blood. More about free collection for an ill sibling.
Treatment with stem cells from a donor (allogeneic)
During treatment, stem cells from a donor are used, which may be a sibling or an unrelated person. When using cells from a donor, consistency in terms of tissue type (the HLA characteristics) is needed. Since this is a foreign cell, the patient’s immune system fights against them, therefore the closest possible match is essential. Matching cells can be searched in the register of donors of umbilical cord blood. The Cord Blood Center Group includes the public register, Eurocord-Slovakia, which is linked to an international database of public registers.
Umbilical cord blood from public registers is used especially for treating leukemia in children and adults or genetic disorders of blood formation and metabolism in child patients.
Preclinical and clinical studies with stem cells from cord blood, umbilical cord tissue and placental tissue:
1. Cerebral palsy, other aquired neurological disease in children, Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, Autism, Acquired Hearing Loss in children, Alzheimer disease
2. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
3. Crohn’s disease
4. Diabetes type I, II
5. Regeneration of bone tissue and cartilage
6. Rheumatoid arthritis
7. New approaches for transplantation of cord blood unit
8. Diabetic foot
9. Malignant and non-malignant diseases
Umbilical cord tissue
1. Systemic lupus erythematosus, Autism
2. Spinal Cord Injury
4. Hepatic failure and liver cirrhosis
5. Diabetes type I, II
6. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative colitis
7. GVHD for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
8. Critical limb ischemia, extensive and severe burns
9. Multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis
1. HIE (Hypoxia of the brain at birth)
2. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
3. Ankylosing spondylitis
4. Support for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
5. Crohn’s disease
6. Erectile dysfunction
7. Malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases