Cord blood is a baby’s blood that remains in the placenta and the umbilical cord after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut. It is unique since it contains valuable haematopoietic stem cells that are young and do not carry a burden associated with acquired diseases, treatment or ageing.
Nowadays, cord blood is, in particular, a source of haematopoietic stem cells that are used especially in the treatment of haematological and malignant diseases, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, cancer of various organs, acquired or selected hereditary haematopoietic disorders, immune or metabolic disorders and other conditions. The majority of these diseases are associated with failure of haematopoiesis in the bone marrow. Bone marrow recovery using haematopoietic stem cells involves the so-called haematopoietic cell transplantation. It is a common standard treatment and a life-saving procedure.1
Cord blood is a complex biological material that in addition to haematopoietic stem cells contains various other types of stem cells and components with not precisely described effects on tissue recovery. Currently, several ongoing clinical studies are investigating the potential benefits of using cord blood in the treatment of other diseases that are beyond the conventional scope of haematology or oncology, particularly in the field of recovery medicine, which treats conditions such as polio, brain birth defects, hearing loss in children.2,3
In addition to haematopoietic stem cells, cord blood also contains mesenchymal stem cells, exosomes and other active biological substances.
Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of differentiating into a wide range of tissue, such as bone tissue, cartilage, tendons, muscles, nerves or liver. Their use is currently subject to intensive research. Preliminary results have confirmed the potential of these cells in the treatment of neurological, rheumatological, autoimmune and other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, autism, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, lupus or stroke.3
Umbilical and placental tissue are both valuable sources of mesenchymal stem cells.
Why choose umbilical cord blood collection?
- It is a standard treatment option for dozens of serious diseases
- It has the potential to treat several conditions beyond standard treatment, such as polio, brain birth defects, hearing loss and others2,3
- A combined collection of cord blood from the umbilical cord (Umbilical cord blood collection) and cord blood from veins close to the surface of the placenta (Umbilical cord blood + placenta blood collection) may ensure a sufficient amount of cells for multiple therapeutic applications
- It may be used both in childhood and adulthood
- It may be used for the treatment of the child’s sibling
- It contains unique cells that are young and do not carry a burden associated with acquired diseases, treatment or ageing
- Its unique characteristics are preserved also in the case of long-term storage
- It may be collected once in a lifetime only, at birth
- It is owned by the parents and immediately available if necessary
What are haematopoietic stem cells?
Haematopoietic stem cells are cells that divide and differentiate to produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets essential for human life. This process is known as haematopoiesis and in adults this occurs in the bone marrow. In adults, these cells are found in the bone marrow, but during prenatal development they are located in the liver and spleen. Several weeks before delivery, the body starts to release the haematopoietic stem cells into the blood, and they are progressively caught in the bone marrow where they remain for life. That is why a baby’s blood contains a relatively large number of haematopoietic cells.