Autologous cord blood provision is also referred to as “Autologous cord blood banking”. For a fee, parents have the lifelong assurance of knowing, that the collected umbilical cord blood will be available if their child may need it for a future treatment.
Over the last two decades, umbilical cord blood changed from a biological waste-product to a valuable substance since it is a rich source of stem cells for therapeutical use
. To date, autologous cord blood stem cells have been used in treating solid tumors (e.g. neuroblastoma), aplastic anemia (a condition where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells), diabetes mellitus type 1, different forms of brain damages in children and many other diseases. In the meantime the list of diseases that could be successfully treated with autologous cord blood stem cells is getting longer almost every day!
However, it has to be stressed that when treating diseases of the immune system or blood system in infants, allogeneic stem cells are to be preferred.
"Vivocell" offers the service of banking autologous stem cells. In this context the following aspects, too, are worth mentioning: From today’s perspective, autologous stem cell transplants in the treatment of a variety of diseases (especially in regenerative medicine) offer substantial advantages. These include, for example, cardiovascular diseases. Allogeneic transplants of stem cells might lead to rejection reactions that could partially result in life-threatening situations especially in diseased tissues and organs.
In theory, stem cells can be harvested at any stage of life, however, later in life the underlying cause for many serious illnesses are diseased and non-functional stem cells. This is why collecting stem cells once the disease has manifested itself will probably be too late.
Cord blood stem cells can be frozen and stored and thus preserve their youthful properties for decades. Therefore they provide the possibility of the body’s own regenerative potential for future forms of treatment. Experimental studies have shown the wide range of clinical applications in the treatment of degenerative, age-related diseases.
As has been proven, a single unit of cord blood is able to regenerate - at least over the course of about two decades - the entire blood – and immune system of an adolescent or adult person. This is an impressive proof of the regenerative potential of umbilical cord blood stem cells.
It is now possible to successfully expand stem cells from umbilical cord blood prior to transplant. Up to 160-fold!
Umbilical cord blood stem cells feature all those characteristics that are required for use in regenerative medical applications: they are pluripotent, i.e. they are capable to develop into any other type of cell (organ, tissue), have already been proven to be effective thousand-fold and contrary to the much-discussed embryonic stem cells their medical applications in humans have been proven to be safe.
If needed, stem cells from umbilical cord blood are available for therapy within a few hours. The long and time-consuming search for a suitable stem cell donor is no longer necessary. Cord blood is promptly available for immediate use, which may be important for patients suffering from severe diseases. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood may also be used to treat severe diseases in family members!
"Vivocell" mainly offers the possibility to donate cord blood. The stem cells isolated from cord blood are then processed and stored for further use in clinical applications of allogeneic stem cell transplantations (mainly to treat serious diseases in unrelated children and adults).