In recent years, cord blood stem cells have entirely revolutionized the way modern medicine approaches treating rare illnesses such as leukemia and Krabbe disease. Read a little bit about this medical marvel and learn about some diseases and disorders that cord blood can treat.
Krabbe disease is an inherited progressive neurological disorder that causes the deterioration of an infant’s brain. Babies diagnosed with this tragic illness usually don’t live to see adulthood. However, in recent years, doctors have had immense success treating Krabbe disease through umbilical cord stem cells or cord blood. Studies indicate that when symptoms are caught early, 100 percent of those treated with cord blood experience positive development and a slowing of symptoms. Because of the enormous success of initial studies, cord blood transfusions have become commonplace treatments for Krabbe disease and countless other disorders like it.
Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that attacks early blood-forming cells and organs. These attacks result in a surplus of immature or abnormal leukocytes, which suppress the production of normal cells. This process is what causes the severe autoimmune deficiencies for which leukemia is known. But with cord blood, doctors can successfully treat this rare blood cancer. In fact, cord blood is so effective in treating leukemia that out of the 35,000 transfusions done worldwide every year, most go to leukemia patients. Furthermore, study results indicate that patients treated with cord blood tend to live longer and have considerably lower chances of relapsing than those treated with other methods.
Aplastic anemia is an illness that affects the body’s ability to produce new blood cells. Essentially, the disease causes one to become fatigued and abnormally prone to infections and uncontrollable bleeding. Aplastic anemia is rare, but it can show up at any time for numerous reasons and have a detrimental effect on those who suffer from it. That said, in recent years and through various studies, medical professionals have successfully treated patients with severe aplastic anemia using cord blood. Through this type of treatment, doctors can introduce cord blood stem cells to a patient’s body, which encourages the production of healthy new cells.
Researchers have found that while bone marrow transplants require a genetic match to be successful, cord blood transfusions do not. This discovery opens up the possibility for more treatment options and higher success rates for patient recovery. Cord blood is providing doctors with innovative treatments for rare illnesses that would have been untreatable just a decade ago. Hopefully, this article has given you an in-depth look into just a few of the diseases and disorders that cord blood can treat.