November 15th is a World Cord Blood Day.
Umbilical cord blood is blood that remains in the umbilical cord after childbirth and is commonly discarded along with perinatal tissues (umbilical cord, placenta), but this biomaterial can save lives. Already today, more than 40,000 patients have received hematopoietic cord blood stem cell transplants instead of the bone marrow for the treatment of blood diseases, congenital defects of the immune system and metabolism.
About 1,000 patients in Ukraine annually need hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The necessary cell graft can be obtained from the bone marrow, cord blood or peripheral blood, from the latter only if the donor takes special drugs.
Umbilical cord blood is increasingly used in regenerative medicine. Thus, according to the World Cord Blood Congress (Cord Blood Connect, September 2021, USA), among the current indications for the use of cord blood stem cells are:
- Hypoxic brain damage
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Borderline personality disorders
- Spinal cord injury
- Heart failure
- Restoration of cartilage tissue
- Dental diseases
- Skin diseases
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
- Type 1 diabetes
- Non-healing fractures/osteoarthritis
- Hearing loss
Allogeneic (donor) and autologous (own) umbilical cord blood is increasingly used in the treatment of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, stroke, autism.
There are about 500 functioning cord blood banks in the world today. Given the high medical and biological value of umbilical cord blood, some countries have adopted regulations that require maternity hospital staff to inform the mothers-to-be about the possibility of personal storage of cord blood (for family needs) and possible donation in the state biobank.
The Institute of Cell Therapy supports World Cord Blood Day. You can learn more about the value and opportunities to use the cord blood, placenta and umbilical cord in Ukraine calling us or attending free webinars and lectures of the School for Pregnant Women online.