What are the Advantages of Cord Blood and Tissue Banking?

Cord blood and tissue banking are increasingly becoming an option that new parents choose after the birth of their baby. Many people consider it to be biological insurance that may help their child or family member to overcome a health disorder in the future. With new developments on the medical frontier, it is very likely that there may be advanced therapies using cord blood and tissue banking that can treat many currently incurable health conditions.

Cord blood and tissue banking

If the parents decide they want to opt for cord blood and tissue banking, the medical personnel will collect cord blood and tissue from the newborn baby’s umbilical cord. It is a painless process. They will then send the biological material to an FDA-regulated private or public bank, depending on what choice the parents make.

Generally, there is no charge for storing the cord blood and tissue in a public bank. However, it is considered as an anonymous donation by the parents and the bank will make the donated blood and tissue available to anyone who needs it for research purposes or for medical treatment. If you go for cord blood and tissue banking, there is no guarantee that you can get access to your donation at a later date, should you need it. The bank may have already given it to someone else who needed it and was compatible with the blood and tissue.

So, if you want guaranteed insurance that you or your child can access in the future, you may want to go for private cord blood and tissue banking. The storage procedure is the same, but there will be a fee for the service.

Advantages of cord blood and tissue banking

Previously, health workers used to discard the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a child. Then, researchers found out that it was possible to obtain cord blood and tissue from them and that these were the source of hematopoietic stem cells that were the same type that you could get from bone marrow. It was more convenient and painless to get the stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta than from the bone marrow of a donor. And it was possible to bank them for use in various medical therapies.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of cord blood and tissue banking:

It has the potential to save lives

These primitive cord blood and tissue stem cells can develop into white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, and may also have the ability to develop into other types of cells. That makes them useful for treating leukemia, cancer, sickle-cell anemia, and various other disorders. There are currently many on-going clinical trials to find stem cell therapies for conditions like degenerative arthritis, autism, cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and more.

It can facilitate stem cell therapy research

Due to the ready availability of stem cells from public cord blood and tissue banking for research purposes, clinical researchers are learning more about cord blood and tissue transplants. They are finding out how to assess compatibility and dosage amount, and how to ensure that the patient receives the right supportive care before and after the stem cell transplant. Regulatory bodies have approved many stem cell therapies and the number is likely to go up as further research makes more therapies feasible.

It can help you to get treatment for genetic conditions

If you have a family history of certain health conditions, storing your baby’s cord blood and tissue with a private bank may help you in the future. The bank will reserve the biological materials for you and your family, and nobody else will be able to access them without your permission. For a specified fee, you can arrange for the bank to store the materials for ten years or longer. At some later date, if you or your child develop the hereditary disease, you can take the stored cord blood and tissue from the bank and use them in stem cell therapy to treat the condition.

As you see, cord blood and tissue banking can be advantageous. You should, however, consult your doctor and discuss your options before making a decision.