Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood bank and therapy potential for lung disease treatment in newborns
Although still a new concept for most people, cord blood banking has been around for a while. It’s however, only recently that it has become more prominent in the news.
Recent news reports highlighted the importance of saving stem cells through facilities such as Cryo-Save for future medical use. According to reports, Dr. B. Thébaud, an Ottawa-based scientist, recently proposed the setting up of a neonatal intensive care unit for treatment of diseases affecting infants through the use of umbilical cord blood cells. The disease he wants to treat is that of BPD which stands for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. It’s a lung disease, for which up to present, no permanent cure has been found.
Dr. Thébaud is also senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute apart from his role as neonatologist at CHEO Research Institute. His credentials speak for themselves as he is furthermore a Professor at the University of Ottawa at the Faculty of Medicine.
He believes that with the teams of scientists and medical specialists at the institutions mentioned, it will be possible to get a cure for BPD through the use of stem cells. With more than 10 000 premature infants in the USA & Canada alone affected by the disease yearly, it becomes clear why it’s so important to find an alternative and workable therapy for the condition.
With the premature babies struggling with underdeveloped lungs, they require additional oxygen by means of artificial assistance through a machine. Unfortunately the method of supplying them with mechanical ventilation also causes some lung damage. The result is that the lungs don’t develop and they then have to stay in the hospital for a longer period. This in turn causes developmental problems for all parts of their bodies, especially the brain.
The team, under leadership of Dr. Thébaud, published the results of experiments conducted on rats in the Thorax
journal. They concluded with some very important findings, one of which is that umbilical cord blood stem cells seem to protect the lungs against the effects of the oxygen treatment. The cells, referred to as MSCs (mesenchymal stromal cells) have also shown to have repairing properties when injected 14 days after oxygen treatment. Several other important findings have been published by the team showing the extreme potential of umbilical cord blood stem cells in helping the premature infants during and after the oxygen treatments.
Dr. Thébaud has also indicated that he wishes to do a pilot study in future with twenty human patients to show that MSC therapy will be beneficial and safe. Cord blood banking plays an important role in such therapies since parents get to save the stem cells of cord blood from their newborn babies and in instances where the babies or siblings may need such treatments in future, they will already have the necessary matching cells available.
Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord to Fight Lung Disease in Newborn Babies – Medindia http://www.medindia.net/news/stem-cells-from-umbilical-cord-to-fight-lung-disease-in-newborn-babies-110984-1.htm#ixzz2RIwHyeFA