11 Facts About Cord Blood Banking Busted
According to Waller-Wise (2011), cord stem cell banking is advisable for most of the families. However, the family should be aware of what diseases are actually treatable by the cord stem banking process.
Now there are few things that you need to know if you are planning on preserving your child’s cord stem. Firstly, cord stem banking might just save your child’s life. (Gunning, 2007) There are numerous cases that suggest that cord stem has played a major role in various treatments.
Secondly, cord stem cell banking also aids in many long term therapies. With more research conducted in the field the medical practitioners are realizing the importance of the stem cell. Moreover, cord stems provide base for future medical research and findings. Donating cord stems will definitely help in further developments of the field.
If you are privately saving your cord stem then you can access it at any time you desire. Cord stem cells, preserved by a particular family, cannot be handed over to someone else. That is the reason why cord stem banking is not at all cheap. You need to incur certain costs for doing so.
It might also very well happen that your child never needs the cord stem cell. Research shows that only 1 in 217 children require cord stems for cell transplant. Moreover, cord stem cells cannot be used to treat every form of diseases. Not in every situation would you require a cord stem cell. In most of the cases cord stem cells are also being discarded whenever the family does not wish to continue the donation. It then stops the chances of probable treatment or future research.
Cord Stem Cells can save lives:
The first and the foremost fact is that cord stem cells can actually save life of your child. Researchers have found out medical technology which allows them to transplant blood cells from the umbilical cord which connects the child to its mother.
These cells are known to treat diseases like in the form of leukemia and certain cancers, sickle-cell anemia, some metabolic disorders and any issues pertaining to the immune system. Preserving the cord guarantees a cure for your child.
Therapies supported by Cord Stem Cells have become more successful:
Over the last decade or so, plenty of research conducted on the stem cell transplant has enabled medical practitioners to leverage the cells of the umbilical cord to treat many acute diseases.
Researchers are now being able to find better matches and cure diseases with much more accuracy than before. Children suffering from critical blood related problems have got better cure with the help of stem cell banking, on many occasions. Pediatric bone marrow and stem cell transplant programs are getting more and more success and hence preserving the stem cells make more sense now than ever.
Cord Stem Cell Banking boosts future research:
If you wish to donate your umbilical cord then it is a major contribution in the field of medical research and development. Research is going on in order to determine how and when cord stem cells can help in the treatment of cerebral palsy and other brain related diseases. (Ballen, 2006).
That means people can relish more advantages out of cord stem cell banking in the coming future. Researchers are also trying to see whether it can treat diseases like autism. More diseases will become treatable with the help of stem cells donated by the families.
You can always access your own stem cell:
If you have stored your stem cells privately then you can access them anytime you wish and desire. That means any time your child need therapy or treatment the doctors can actually rely on the supply line of the stem cell bank.
It is a tremendous lifeline which will never die out. In fact stem cells can actually make sure that your child receives treatment even if you are not yourself physically present in this world. Some researchers consider it to be the ultimate gift that a mother can give her child.
Cord Cell Stem Banking Costs a lot:
The cost of private stem cell banking is something to consider. If you wish to donate your cord for donation and research then it is completely free of cost. However, the cost of private preservation often ranges from $1,400 to $2,300 for collecting, testing, and registering, plus an annual $95 to $125 storing fee.
That is something to consider as your child might not actually need it in the future. Moreover, this is a constant cost that you have to bear barring the cost of medical treatments that you have to undergo, in case your child actually needs it.
Your child might never need the stem cells:
It is true that it is better to be safe than sorry but the reality is that your child might not actually need the stem cells in his/her entire life. Surveys show that only one in 217 cases of private stem cell banking the child actually required the stem cells for his/her treatments.
That is the reason why American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that people should donate their stem cells as it might help in the treatments of other children if it is publicly available. Storing and not using stem cell cords can be considered as a waste.
It would not treat all the diseases:
Cord cells are not magic wands. They cannot cure every form and diseases. Children who are born with conditions like muscular dystrophy or spina bifida will have the same disease in the umbilical cords also.
In such cases preserving those cord cells become meaningless. Genetic conditions along with many other critical diseases cannot be treated with the help of the cord cells. However, it is also true that researchers are making valiant efforts in order to cover many other treatments under the scope of this cell preservation strategy.
In most cases the stored cell gets wasted:
Unfortunately this is a harsh reality of private stem cell banking. Since in many cases the donor does not use the cord stems (for her child) in her life, it gets wasted and thrown away thereby hindering the chances of further research. (Fox, 2007).
Also due to the high cost of maintaining the cord many families decide to stop preserving it after few years. In such cases also the cord is being thrown away by the bank, as per the terms and condition of the contract. That is another reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly opposes the practice of private stem cell banking. According to them, donating the cord is a much better and noble gesture.
Cord Cell banks are regulated differently:
In the United States it is the FDA who registers and inspects private banks. But that is not all. It is the Biologics License Applications which differs from a bank to another. In most of the cases the donors are completely unaware of the registrations and licensing policies. That is where the mishap actually happens.
The unfair fact is that, in America, the private banks do not need to undergo as much regulation like the public ones. That is why there is a huge risk that your stem cell might completely get wasted. Also before planning on preserving the stem cell, carefully read the access criteria as mentioned by the respective bank. There is no point storing a stem cell if your child cannot access it in time of need.
There is no guarantee that a sick sibling will be saved:
If you have two children and you have decided to save the umbilical cord for one of them, then there is no guarantee that a sick sibling’s blood type will match. In such cases you need to save both the cords thereby incurring double cost in the process. (Fox, 2007).
According to a research conducted by Waller-Wise (2011) there is only 25 percent chance that it might match. So, it is a very big risk as far as the cost and efforts are concerned.
A private Stem Cell bank Might go out of Business:
Normally a good quality private stem cell bank will make you undergo a lot of tests before preserving the cord. They will let you know whether or not there are any genetic deformations that might prevent its further usage.
However, due to the lack of regulation most of the private stem cell banks do not undergo such processes. Also at the same time, with the lack of clients the banks might also go out of business. Then there is no way that you can retrieve back your cord. Your money will be wasted and so will be the chance of your child’s future treatment.
The decision of preserving your umbilical cord is your personal one. It is true that it offers a lot of assurance that no other source of medical treatment can offer to an ailing child. Stem cell transplantation related technologies are becoming more and more advanced and that is the reason why these kinds of services are gaining popularity.
It is also true that, with time, more diseases will come under the radar of stem transplantation related technologies and hence storing cords privately will prove to be more beneficial than ever. However, at the same time you need to consider the cost and possibilities of the process.
In most cases it will not be required and you also wish for that. But in that case the entire cost of storing the cord gets wasted. Moreover, if you decide on stop the process, your umbilical cord will be disposed off on an immediate basis. Also whilst you are deciding on storing your cord you must be thorough with the technologies applied and techniques applied by the respective bank. Not all stem cell banks are equal in terms of quality and support.