Diseases and Conditions That Cord Blood Can Treat

Diseases and Conditions That Cord Blood Can Treat

Maybe in your pregnancy research, you skimmed the stuff about banking your baby’s cord blood, instead Googling over and over, “How much is this going to hurt?” We don’t blame you. But if all you learned about these stem cells is that they’re nice to have “just in case,” you deserve some straight-up details, too. Here’s what you need to know about the diseases and conditions that cord blood can treat so you can make an informed decision.

Some Background

For starters, although you might have learned about cord blood banking from a private company’s brochure, it’s not a money grab. The Food and Drug Administration regulates the process, and the stem cells are as valuable as the literature says. For just a minute or so after your umbilical cord is cut, your doctor can collect a considerable quantity of young stem cells from blood and tissue. If you don’t want to pay to have it banked for your family, you can donate it to a public bank for someone else in need. There aren’t any banks that will store it for free for you, though.

FDA-Approved Treatments

If you choose to store your baby’s cord blood and tissue, it can help treat these conditions, although it is not a complete list:

Childhood Cancers

  • Neuroblastoma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Medulloblastoma

Leukemias

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Acute biphenotypic leukemia

Chronic Leukemia

  • Juvenile Chronic Myelogenous leukemia (JCML)
  • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

Pre-Leukemias

  • Refractory Anemia
  • Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)

Lymphomas

  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Burkitt’s Lymphoma)

Blood Disorders

  • Anemias
  • Inherited red cell abnormalities
  • Inherited platelet anomalies
  • Inherited immune system disorders
  • Myeloproliferative disorders
  • Phagocyte disorders
  • Cancers in the bone marrow

Inherited Metabolic Disorders

  • Leukodystrophy disorders like Krabbe disease
  • Lysosomal storage diseases like Niemann-Pick disease
  • Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
  • Osteopetrosis

In Clinical Trials

There are already about 80 diseases and conditions that cord blood can treat, and doctors are actively researching many more. Among the potential applications: cerebral palsy, autism, type one diabetes, and many more. And while the stem cells are guaranteed to be a match for your child, they could also be a match for a sibling or other family member. If you’re thinking about storing your cord blood, you can’t decide at the last minute. Look into your family’s medical history to see if it makes sense for you.


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Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.
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