BOSTON, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For over 15 years now, parents have had the option to save the blood that is found within their baby's umbilical cord immediately following birth. The blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells (HSC's). These multipotent stem cells have the ability to give rise to all blood cell types. Parents have the peace of mind of knowing that their child, and perhaps siblings and other family members, could in fact use these cells as part of a curative treatment for well over 80 blood borne illnesses. This process, commonly referred to as cord blood banking, has allowed for more than 6,000 transplants of these stem cells for patients who will benefit from the repopulation of their blood supply.
Now, with medical advances continuing in the second decade of this practice, scientists and doctors have begun to realize the value in the very tissue that makes up the umbilical cord itself. The cord, no longer seen as just a vessel for these precious cells, is actually comprised of yet another stem cell type. The tissue is comprised of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC's). These "super cells" have the primitive beginnings of every major tissue type in the human body. Therefore, it is now believed that the harvesting and cryopreservation of these cells may likely lead to treatment and potentially cures for a wide array of diseases and injuries. These regenerative cells will be key players in medical advances in the areas of cardiac, neuronal, bone, cartilage, and adipose tissue repair. Researchers studying conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, spinal cord injury and cardiac damage have long known the potential for stem cells in the future treatments and cures. Now, in one easy harvesting opportunity, new parents have the chance to bank both cell types for their family's future health.
The family simply makes this decision in advance of the birth and contracts with a cryogenic laboratory to process and store these cells. One such player in this exciting area is New England Cord Blood Bank. For over 25 years they have been innovators in the area of cryopreservation - storing fertility cells and tissue, cord blood and another new option in the stem cell world, dental pulp stem cells. New England Cord Blood Bank is proud to continue its reputation as a cutting edge bio-medical lab, and as such, has begun to offer it clients this additional service when they bank their baby's cord blood. For a limited time, they will encourage parents to make this choice by offering a no-charge option for the harvesting and processing of this tissue, when they enroll to bank cord blood as well. The family will only be faced with a small additional charge for the annual storage.
For more information, please contact Caitlin Carter at 617-244-3933.
Press Contact: Jacalyn Fallman
Marketing and PR Manager
New England Cryogenic Center
SOURCE New England Cord Blood Bank