Obstetric Cryopreservation of stem cells of the umbilical chord

A reliable technique, that is easy to use, to obtain stem cells of your own child and to retain them in future.

Presently, the main therapeutic applications of stem cells are based on the Hematopoietic Cells (extracted from blood from the umbilical chord), used in blood diseases, and on Mesenchymal Cells (extracted from the umbilical chord tissue) that we use in regenerative medicine.

Presently, more than 85 serious diseases (leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, thalassemia, etc.) can be treated and more than 20000 implants have been made in the world thanks to stem cells of the umbilical chord.

What’s a stem cell?

A stem cell is a cell that will create the adult cell forming the tissues and organs of our body. Without any stem cell, the organism cannot be developed or regenerated its tissue, whereas other cells die or lose their functions.

The stem cells contain all the information required to create body tissues and organs and they are different from other cells due to their ability to auto-generate and indefinitely divide themselves.

The stem cells may be of two types: embryo stem cells, isolated from embryo tissues, and adult stem cells, obtained after birth.

The isolation of embryo stem cells has been subject to debates for ethical reasons; these reasons do not concern the stem cells originating from the blood of the umbilical chord because they are adult stem cells whose extraction does not show a risk either to the mother or to the baby. The extraction of stem cells of blood sample from an umbilical chord, removed during delivery, may allow us to perform cell therapies associated to a certain number of diseases.

The samples retained at the private level are always accessible, without waiting list or depending on a donor.

The stem cells of the umbilical chord

The blood from the umbilical chord is very rich with hematopoietic progenitor cells, making transplants more and more frequent. In general, after birth, we get rid of the umbilical chord and its blood. But, since, 1988, when the first stem cell transplant of the umbilical chord was performed, we estimate that up to 2009, more than 20000 transplants of this type have been performed in the world. These cells may be useful for the person itself (autologous use), a parent, or other persons whose bone marrow is hurt.

The transplant is used to produce safe blood cells, necessary in our life.

Blood is retrieved from the chord at the time of delivery. The extraction of these cells, which would otherwise be thrown, is a completely safe process not leading to any risk, since it is done after the chord is torn. It is also absolutely painless for the mother and the child.

Using stem cells of the umbilical chord

The stem cells are a good alternative in healing certain blood diseases, which may be cancerous or immunologic in nature, such as leukemia or different tumors. We have presently performed more than 20000 allogeneic transplants in the world, with stem cells, mostly on children. The success rate of blood transplants obtained from the umbilical chord is greater when the number of stem cells is high and when there is a better compatibility between the donor and the patient.

In case of emergencies and in children, the transplant of the umbilical chord has advantages with respect to the complete bone marrow transplant, because it reduces complications and increases the chances of the patients in certain cases.

The members of a compatible family can use the stem cells reserved at the request of the doctor and after obtaining consent from the parents or the tutors.

Current medical applications

The current stem cell applications originating from blood of the umbilical chord can be traced to blood-oncology diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors and other hereditary pathologies or pathologies acquired from the blood and immunity system.

This list is subject to modifications, since current research in the domain of diabetes, cardiac related diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, my increase, in future, the number of therapeutic applications of stem cells of the umbilical chord.

Last Update: 13/09/2014
References:
– Herrera Gómez Antonio. Procedimiento de actuación en la donación de sangre de cordón umbilical. NURE Inv [Internet]. 2012 may-jun [citado día mes año]; 9(58):[aprox. 9 p.]. Available in: http://www.fuden.es/