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Cord Blood Transplant : A Better Alternative to Bone Marrow Transplant

Oct 9, 2007
As statistics render evidence of more and more positive outcomes of cord blood transplants, a greater importance is now being placed on cord blood donation. Blood and immune system related diseases were the preliminary ailments in which cord blood cell treatment was started. Now the transplant is a tool to combat more than seventy diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, some forms of blindness and other diseases that have originated from the bone marrow.

Statistics have published that nearly 110,000 people are been diagnosed with these types of diseases each year in the United States. Because of the painful procedures and other obstacles associated with bone marrow transplants, approximately 15,000 people discard the transplant treatment that they require be recover. Assiduous cord blood research trials are being made to extract further healing benefits latent in the umbilical cords of babies and put this to use in curing other severe diseases.

Why Cord blood Transplants Are Better Alternatives To Bone Marrow Transplants

The availability of matching donors is the main setback that bone marrow transplants patients face. There are cases when the patients even succumb to the disease while waiting for the ideal match. To further the list of disadvantages, the bone marrow collection procedure is quite painful and it takes a long time to see any positive result of bone marrow treatment.

Cord blood transplant treatments have shown more benefits than bone marrow transplant treatments, these are:

Cord blood cells show greater chances of HLA matching between donors and patients.

Availability of umbilical stem cells makes it more accessible in need of transplants than bone marrow stem cells. The patient no longer needs to wait for a donor, he can be his own donor if his cord blood had been preserved after his birth.

Since the stem cells found in umbilical cords are the most primitive cells, therefore, when transplanted to the patients, these bring about lesser threat for graft-versus-host-disease or GVRD which is a probable risk involved in bone marrow transplant.

The harvesting and collecting process entails zero pain and risk for the donor, whereas, bone marrow collection process causes intense pain to both donor and user.

Cord blood Today

New discoveries are showing more techniques of new ways of cord blood transplant. Medical practitioners have gone an extra mile now to even expand the stem cells where there is insufficiency of stem cells. Today, more than seventy diseases can be cured by such transplants. Here are some of the diseases, which can be treated with these transplants.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Juvenile Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
Hunters Syndrome
Tay-Sachs Disease
Wolman Disease
Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
Beta Thalassemia Major

Samples of twin pregnancies were generally rejected due the low availability of cells. But, now private banks are looking forward to expand donated cord blood stem cell, received from twin pregnancies and make use of these in future transplants.

Pre implantation genetic diagnosis is another result of cord blood research, made by John Wagner, M.D. and professor of Department of Pediatrics housed in the University of Minnesota. This pre implantation technique is assumed to be useful for treating patients suffering from Fanconi Anemia, Thalassemia, sickle cell disease, Hurlers syndrome and an array of other genetically transferable diseases.
About the Author
Cord blood transplants provide less risk for graft-versus-host-disease, and entail zero pain and risks for the donor. That is why they are considered today, the preferred alternative to bone marrow transplants. With rapid advancements in cord blood research, more people are considering storing umbilical cord blood stem cells in a cord blood bank..
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