The use of cord blood stem cells for medical purposes has shown promising results, both for transplant medicine and regenerative medicine. Most common is the use of cord blood in transplant medicine, such as treatment of leukemia and other serious blood diseases. For most conditions in which a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant is a treatment option, a cord blood transplant is also a viable alternative. As such, umbilical cord blood is now one of three sources for the blood-forming cells used in transplants.
In addition, cord blood may soon play an important role in regenerative medicine as well. Cord blood stem cells have been induced to develop into neural cells, suggesting that they may represent a potential treatment for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury, dementia, and related conditions. Also, cord blood stem cells have proven an ability to develop into blood vessels, meaning that they could potentially repair damage resulting from different types of heart disease, such as stroke, coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart conditions.
It is also interesting to consider the common disease categories treatable with cord blood transplant, as shown in the table below.
TABLE. DISEASE CATEGORIES TREATABLE WITH HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL TRANSPLANT
|Common Disease Categories|
|1. Cancers (such as leukemias, high-risk solid tumors, and lymphomas)|
|2. Blood Disorders (such as Thalassemia, Anemias, and Sickle Cell Disease)|
|3. Immune Disorders (such as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease, Hystiocytic Disease, and Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome)|
|4. Metabolic Diseases (such as Krabbe Disease, Hurler Syndrome, and Leukodystrophies)|
Today, there are more than 80 medical conditions for which hematopoietic stem cell transplant (including cord blood transplant) is a standard treatment option. Most of these therapies require allogeneic transplants, where the patient must use a genetically-matched cord blood donor. The only exceptions to this are patients who are transplanted for solid tumors or acquired anemias. In these situations, the patient may receive an autologous transplant.
In addition, there is a range of disease categories for which cord blood transplant could represent a viable treatment method in the future. For these conditions, there are still unknown criteria that need to be determined before cord blood stem cell transplant can become commonplace, such as patient criteria for optimal treatment effectiveness, optimum stem cell quantity for use in transplant, and preferred method of stem cell delivery into the patient, as shown below.
TABLE. FUTURE DISEASE CATEGORIES TREATABLE WITH CORD BLOOD TRANSPLANT
|Future Disease Categories|
|1. Brain Disorders: Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Huntington’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, and related conditions|
|2. Cartilage Growth & Joint Rejuvenation: Traumatic or Surgical Damage, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and related conditions|
|3. Diabetes: Type I diabetes, Type II diabetes, Gestational diabetes|
|4. Heart Disease: Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), Heart Attack, Ischemic Heart Disease, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Pulmonary Heart Disease|
|5. Liver Disease: Alcoholic Liver Disease, Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Reye’s syndrome, Wilson’s Disease, Other Hepatic and Biliary Disorders|
|6. Multiple Sclerosis: Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS), Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS), Malignant Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis|
|7. Muscular Dystrophy (MD): Duchenne MD, Becker MD, Congenital MD, Emery-Dreifuss MD, Facioscapulohumeral MD, Limb-Girdle MD, Myotonic MD, and Oculopharyngeal MD|
|8. Skin and Tissue Regeneration: Burn Damage, Trauma Damage, Epidermolysis Bullosa, and related conditions|
|9. Spinal Cord Degeneration or Trauma: Spinal Cord Trauma, Paralysis, Spinal Stenosis, Paraplegia, and related conditions|
|10. Stroke: Ischemic Stroke, Intracerebral Stroke, Subarachnoid Hemorrhage|
To learn more about emerging trends and findings within the cord blood industry, view the “Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report” now.
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BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the stem cell sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of market research. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, CBS News, Medical Ethics, and the Center for BioNetworking.