News Excerpt
Recently, Community Cord Blood Banking helped save the life of a girl child making it India’s first dual cord blood transplant through an unrelated donor.

Analytica
What is cord blood banking?
•    Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery.
•    At or near term, there is a maternal–foetal transfer of cells to boost the immune systems of both the mother and baby in preparation for labor. This makes cord blood at the time of delivery a rich source of stem cells and other cells of the immune system.
•    Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the cord blood and extracting and cryogenically freezing its stem cells and other cells of the immune system for potential future medical use.

Benefits of cord blood banking
    Cord blood taken from a baby's umbilical cord is always a perfect match for the baby. It gives protection to a baby against all conditions treatable using stem cells (own & donor).
    In addition, immediate family members are more likely to also be a match for the banked cord blood. Thus, giving protection to the baby’s siblings, parents and grandparents (maternal & paternal) by providing unrelated donor stem cells.


Why is the recent success in Cord Blood Banking a big feat?
Stem cell therapy
    Stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, promotes the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells or their derivatives.
    Researchers grow stem cells in a lab. These stem cells are manipulated to specialize into specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells.
    The specialized cells can then be implanted into a person. For example, if the person has heart disease, the cells could be injected into the heart muscle. The healthy transplanted heart muscle cells could then contribute to repairing defective heart muscle.
    In the majority of the blood-related disorders treatable by transplants, patients’ own stem cells are not suitable. Hence, the best donor is a close family member, usually a sibling.
    However, in this particular case, there was only a 50% match with the sibling and that’s why a high-quality match from an unrelated donor was crucial for a successful transplant.
    The purpose of Community Cord Blood Banking is to ensure easy and rapid access to stem cells for every Indian without the hurdles of public and private banking models. While stem cells from the umbilical cord blood can be procured from global public banks, the probability of finding a match for a patient of Indian origin is less than 10% because of the low inventory of available units plus the big issue of donor dropouts.
    The community banking model made it possible and the child in this case received a timely transplant with an encouraging prognosis.

PEPPER IT WITH
Immune system disorders, Private (commercial) cord banks, Direct-donation banks, Stem cells, The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Guidelines.

Stem cell therapy
    Stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, promotes the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells or their derivatives.
    Researchers grow stem cells in a lab. These stem cells are manipulated to specialize into specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells.
    The specialized cells can then be implanted into a person. For example, if the person has heart disease, the cells could be injected into the heart muscle. The healthy transplanted heart muscle cells could then contribute to repairing defective heart muscle.