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What is umbilical cord blood

Pupočníková krvCord 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 hematopoietic stem cells which are young and do not carry a burden associated with acquired diseases, treatment or ageing.

Nowadays, cord blood is in particular a source of hematopoietic stem cells which are used especially in the treatment of hematological and malignant diseases, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, cancer of various organs, acquired or selected hereditary hematopoietic disorders, immune or metabolic disorders and other conditions. The majority of these diseases are associated with failure of hematopoiesis in bone marrow. Bone marrow recovery using hematopoietic stem cells involves the so-called hematopoietic 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 hematopoietic stem cells contains various other types of stem cells and components with not precisely described effects on tissue recovery. Currently, there are several ongoing clinical studies, investigating the potential benefits of cord blood in other diseases which are beyond the conventional scope of hematology or oncology, in particular in the field of recovery medicine which treats diseases such as polio, brain birth defects, hearing loss in children, etc.2,3

In addition to hematopoietic 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 tissues, 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, rheumatology, autoimmune and other diseases, such as: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, autism, osteoarthritis, psoriasis and lupus or stroke.3

Umbilical and placental tissue is one of the sources of mesenchymal stem cells.

Why choose umbilical cord blood collection?

  • it is a standard treatment option for dozens of serious diseases,
  • it has a potential to treat several diseases beyond standard treatment, such as polio, brain birth defects, hearing loss and others,2,3
  • 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 application,
  • may be used both in childhood and adulthood,
  • may be used for the treatment of the child’s sibling as well,
  • it contains unique cells which 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 the time when the child is born,
  • it is owned by the parents and immediately available if necessary.

What are hematopoietic stem cells?
Hematopoietic stem cells are cells which 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 occurs in bone marrow. In adults, these cells are found in bone marrow, but during prenatal development they are located in the liver and spleen. Several weeks before delivery, the body starts to release the hematopoietic stem cells in 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 hematopoietic cells.

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