For World Cord Blood Day, the chairman and president of StemCyte discussed his thoughts on the importance of cord blood stem cells for the healthcare community.
“For doctors and the broader healthcare community, we take this opportunity to educate them and tell them cord blood donation is a safe, simple, and painless procedure. It does not harm the mother and doesn't harm the baby. It can be done easily in any hospital that participates in a cord blood bank program.”
In the fields of regenerative medicine and cell therapy, various sources are used to obtain the stem cell starting materials from which treatments are made or derived. Among these sources are bone marrow stem cells, peripheral blood stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and cord blood or placental-derived stem cells. World Cord Blood Day, recognized annually on November 15 by the donor, patient, and clinician communities, is intended to help raise awareness for the unique advantages of cord blood stem cells and their importance to the medical field. Cord blood stem cells are stem cells that are collected from the umbilical cord and placenta, which are normally treated as waste products in hospitals, at the time a child is born. The stem cell types found in cord blood are later able to be differentiated into various cell types, such as blood cells, bone cells, nerve cells, and muscle cells.
In observance of World Cord Blood Day, CGTLive™ spoke with Jonas Wang, PhD, the chairman and president of StemCyte, a regenerative therapeutics company and cord blood bank, about the advantages of cord blood stem cells in regenerative medicine. Wang pointed out several key areas where cord blood stem cells measure up favorably against stem cells sourced from adult donors. He noted that cord blood stem cells can be collected safely, without any risk or pain to the mother or baby; that they are more flexible than adult stem cells due to their immaturity; that they carry a lower risk of causing graft versus host disease; that they do not require a perfect matching of human leukocyte antigens between donor and recipient; and that they can be stored for later use. Wang also gave his main message to the healthcare community for World Cord Blood Day, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness about cord blood donation among doctors and potential donors.