Some of the most successful results of umbilical cord blood stem cell treatment are related to blood disorders and diseases, including leukemia. Sometimes referred to as blood cancer, there are several types of leukemia, named for the kind of cell affected. The disease develops when blood cells produced in the bone marrow grow out of control.
More than 25,000 leukemia patients around the world have received cord blood transplants as a form of treatment. It’s an effective alternative to chemotherapy and radiation, which destroys the bone marrow. Transplanted stem cells can restore the bone marrow’s ability to make healthy blood cells.
Umbilical cord blood, like bone marrow and peripheral blood, is a rich source of stem cells for transplantation. There may be advantages for certain patients to have cord blood stem cell transplants instead of transplants with adult marrow or stem cells. One of the biggest advantages of using cord blood is that it does not need to be as perfectly matched to the patient as bone marrow. Also, cord blood units are stored and ready to use, so it’s quickly available when a patient needs a transplant right away.
New advances and successful treatments are happening every day. Families who want to learn more about how umbilical cord blood is saving lives and making a difference to patients like those suffering from leukemia can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.