Thursday, March 20, 2014

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Cord Blood Treatment

With cord blood becoming the talk of town, let's have a look at the bright as well as the dark sides of this miracle blood that promises to treat many life-threatening diseases in the near future.
Advantages Of Cord Blood Treatment

  • Cord blood collection is effortless and free from risks. The National Cord Blood Program staff at the New York Blood Center performs cord blood collection from the expelled placenta. This process does not, in any way, intervene with the care of either the newborn baby or the mother. Therefore, there is no health risk to both of them.
  • It is ready-to-use, as it is stored frozen after collecting and testing it. In case a match a found, the unit can be reserved at once.
  • It does not need a perfect match. This is the biggest advantage. Cord blood can be transplanted even if there is only a partial match between donor and recipient.
  • The recipient is at fewer risks of complications by cord blood transplant. The immune cells present in cord blood are less likely to attack the tissue of patient (graft vs. host disease) as compared to bone marrow transplant. Also, cord blood is less likely to spread certain viruses such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a deadly infection that strikes transplant recipients. Nearly half of the adult population of America is the carrier of CMV in the form of latent virus. Besides this, less than 1 percent of babies are born with CMV.
  • Disadvantages Of Cord Blood Treatment
  • The volume of cord blood collection is relatively small. Hence, the quantity of stem cells for transplantation is less than that in peripheral blood or bone marrow. This problem is greater for adults and adolescents, as they need comparatively more quantity of stem cells for transplant.
  • Cord blood transplantation exposes the patient to one of the rare genetic disorders of the immune system or blood. This disorder is not detectable while testing the cord blood sample, as it remains invisible in the child for many years. However, the chance of getting this disorder is less than 1 in 10,000.
  • The donor cord blood stem cells come from newborn baby that is unavailable for extra cord blood donation. Therefore, if the first cord blood unit fails, the second unit will have to be obtained from a different donor.
  • Just as every coin has two sides, so does umbilical stem cell cord blood. But, it promises to provide the solution to many critical medical conditions. However, it may take a decade or two before there is a definite cure to deadly diseases. Nevertheless, the researchers are busy researching on stem cells in the hope to make it a powerful medical tool in the coming years.
    Advantages And Disadvantages Of Cord Blood Treatment
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