Cord Banking and iPS Cells

Umbilical Cord Banking (UCB) has been a popular discussion topic in the United States since the first Cord Bank was established in New York in 1992. Since the first cord blood transplantation in 1988, there have been over 780,000 UCB donations to private banks and 400,000 UCB donations to public blood banks worldwide. There has been such a great number of donations because UCB is full of hematopoietic progenitor cells, which makes it a more desirable solution to genetic, metabolic and immune disorders, over bone marrow and blood. Because of the nature of UCB, the recipient does not need to be an immunological match, there is a lower rate of infection and it is much easier to acquire than bone marrow, making it the ideal form of treatment for many patients and practitioners.

Over twenty years later, a new technology is emerging that could provide some clarity to the “to donate or not to donate” debate: induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Derived from adult cells, iPSCs have the potential to be used like UCB or reprogrammed into specific tissue like myocytes. This potential opens up banking to countless individuals born before 1992, who never had an option to bank their UCB. With this unbounded potential, should iPSCs be banked liked UCB? Supporters argue that there has been enough evidence thus far to start a bank, however, most people seem to agree that too much is unknown about iPSCs and their use in humans. With that, most are in agreement that iPSC research is absolutely needed so banking can become a reality in the future.

For now iPSCs will remain in the testing and research phase, however, based on current research, iPSCs have the potential to enhance Cord Blood that has already been banked, perhaps providing some relief to public banks in the future (Broxmeyer, 2010). Though the potential of iPSCs is endless, more work has to be done before they are placed in humans and considered a viable banking system.

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 iPSCs and other stem cells

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[…] can become a reality in the future. For now iPSCs … … Go here to read the rest: Cord Banking and iPS Cells | AlleleBlog ← New Evidence for Stem Cells That Spur Cancer's Growth | Stem Cells … Knight […]

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