In an effort to finding a cure for a disease the child may develop in the future, many families consider freezing the baby’s umbilical cord. It is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, which, for adults, can be found in red bone marrow, and is used to treat hematopoietic diseases, such as leukemia, linfomas and thalassemia. However, it’s worth thinking about the topic seeing as, contrary to what many banks may advertise, there’s little feasibility to actually using the cord, according to the information below:
Stem cells stored in private banks have reduced usage
True, if we take into consideration the possibility of the person to use, in the future, their own cells for treatment. Since, for now, it is used solely to treat blood disorders – usually, genetic – the possibility of using them is soon thrown out. Ideally, the patient should find a compatible donor in a public bank. The probability of a 20-year-old adult, for instance, to use their own stem cells from their umbilical cord is less than 0.05%. The chance that they’re compatible with siblings from the same parents is 25%.
Going to a private bank is better than donating to a public one
Myth. Of course this is very subjective and personal, but donating the cells from your baby’s umbilical cord to a public bank can help a much larger amount of people. And, in the future, if you need it, turning to a public bank offers you more chances of saving your child’s life, since you’ll have a wide array of potential donors within reach.
In a public bank, you won’t have access to your own cells
Myth. As long as there’s a compatibility and necessity, the cells can be used by anyone – including the donor or a parent – if they’re available.
There’s still a lot to learn about curing new diseases through stem cells
Truth. Research is been developed all over the world on the most diverse types of diseases – arthritis, diabetes, mental health issues related to old age, etc.