What is the purpose of cord blood banking?
Life is very unpredictable and so is health. Many new medical technologies have been developed in the last few decades that allow for better treatment of many diseases. However, there are still diseases and disorders that are currently beyond the scope of active and successful treatment.
Stem cells, the building blocks of human body, are under extensive study for evaluation of their potential in treating these diseases for which cures have yet to be found. Umbilical cord blood has one of the rarest sources of high concentrations of various stem cells, including progenitor stem cells that can be specifically developed into blood and immune cells of the body, making these cells special for long-term cryopreservation.
When, where and how did cord blood banking come about?
It was in 1988 – the first time the cord blood of a patient’s sibling was used to treat Fanconi Anemia illness. Since then, a lot of research has gone into this subject, and more than 20,000 transplants have been conducted worldwide. Today, almost every developed and developing country has the facility for cord blood storage.
What is the difference between a private and a public cord blood bank?
Cord blood banks can either be Family (Private) or Public. Private banking is based on contribution from a family member and is readily available to any family member if ever the need arises. The cord blood stored belongs to the family for a contracted number of years. In public cord blood banking, the sample donated can be used by someone else, even those with no relation to
the baby whose cord blood was donated.
It is entirely the parent’s decision on whether to go for family banking or public banking. However, in public banking, the family has no legal right on the sample once it has been donated.
Why should young parents be interested to bank their babies’ cord blood?
Every parent wants to secure the present and future health of their children. While public cord blood banks play a significant role in supporting the transplant requirements using progenitor stem cells samples, the rare availability of matched cord blood has pushed many parents towards considering family (private) banking.
Who is suitable for cord blood banking?
Parents with a family history of particular life-threatening diseases would be strongly recommended to have their babies cord blood stored as a preventive measure. However, in very rare circumstances (depending on the type of disease), the benefits of storing the cord blood might be limited for the
family. Otherwise, cord blood banking is suitable for all healthy babies as an
“assurance” against future life- threatening diseases which could be treated
using cord blood.
By Dr. Ashish Munjal
Dr Ashish Munjal, a medical doctor, is the Chief Operating Officer of Cryoviva Singapore and has 14 years of experience in the medical field including 5 years in regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies.
About Cryoviva Singapore Pte Ltd
Cryoviva Singapore is another extension of world-class quality services in cord blood banking and is a joint venture between Cryoviva International Pte Ltd (owned by Mr Ravi Jaipuria, Chairman of RJ Corp India, and Dr T Chandroo, Chairman of Modern Montessori International Group, Singapore) and AsiaMedic Ltd, which has 25% stake in the Company. AsiaMedic Ltd is an SGX Catalist-listed company in Singapore. Cryoviva Singapore’s affiliated cord blood banks in India and Thailand hold AABB accreditation, and with its recent entry in Singapore, the Company intends to expand operations further in the Southeast Asian region.