The Cord Blood Registry, a blood bank in San Bruno, has launched a nationwide campaign to increase public awareness of cord-blood preservation.
The blood bank is proposing the collection and storage of umbilical-cord blood for future use. Collecting cord blood takes only a few minutes, and is painless and risk-free to the baby and the mother.
“The goal of this campaign is to help expectant parents better understand the significance of banking cord-blood stem cells,” said Stephen Grant, executive vice president and co-founder of Cord Blood Registry, in a press release.
For example, a two-year-old boy recently received a transplant of his own cord blood stem cells to treat his type 1 diabetes.
Prior to the baby's delivery, parents currently can opt to preserve cord blood stem cells with a family bank or donate them to a public bank.
Treatment with cord-blood stem cells is more ethical than treatments derived from embryonic stem cells, which requires embryos to be killed in the process. Furthermore, no treatments have come as yet from embryonic stem cell research.
According to the National Marrow Donor Program, the number of transplants using cord blood as a source of stem cells to treat serious diseases, such as leukemia and aplastic anemia, will surpass those using bone marrow later this year.