The stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood are true all-rounders which can differentiate into many distinct cell types. To date, a number of studies have shown the widespread use of umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of the following diseases.
1. Umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of hematologic diseases
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are used in bone marrow transplants for patients with blood cell disorders, a condition in which there’s a problem with blood cells. To date, bone marrow transplants using umbilical cord blood stem cells to replace abnormal cells have been widely performed at hospitals by specialized doctors and experienced hematologists.
2. Umbilical cord blood stem cells used in the treatment of patients with blood cancers
Leukemia is a blood cancer caused by a rise in the number of white blood cells which chemotherapy is the main treatment. After the chemotherapy, transplanted stem cells from cord blood can help regrow the healthy blood cells, reduce some side effects of chemotherapy, and recover faster.
3. Umbilical cord blood transplant for sickle cell diseases
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of umbilical cord blood transplant for patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), an inherited red blood cell disorder that affects hemoglobin or abnormally shaped red blood cells. The cord blood transplant helps restore the immune system and rebuild the healthy red blood cells.
4. Umbilical cord blood stem cells for type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (a.k.a., insulin-dependent diabetes) is an auto-immune disease which the body is unable to effectively produce or use insulin. To date, cord blood stem cells are being investigated as an alternative therapy for type 1 diabetes to spur the pancreas to start producing insulin again.
5. Umbilical cord blood stem cells for hypersensitivity diseases
Hypersensitivity diseases include autoimmune diseases such as allergies. Hypersensitivity reactions occur when the normally protective immune system responds abnormally, potentially harming the body. Several studies have shown that umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells can suppress allergic responses and reset the immune system.