July is Cord Blood Awareness Month. We’re excited to raise awareness of umbilical cord blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood banking over the course of the month. Each week we will have a different theme relating to cord blood; this week we are looking at cord blood and regenerative medicine.
Stem cell research is yielding new discoveries at an incredible rate and stem cells are already used as approved therapies in over 80 serious illnesses. Such is the rate of discoveries in stem cell research that in 1997 the odds of needing a stem cell transplant in a lifetime were 1 in 2,700, yet today are 1 in 3! With over 1,000 clinical trials investigating the application of cord blood today  and over 5,000 clinical trials investigating the application of stem cells , the use of umbilical cord blood for future therapies could become increasingly common.
Cord blood is an incredibly rich and ethical source of stem cells. Cord blood can be collected safely and painlessly after a baby is born, from the umbilical cord which remains attached to the placenta after the cord is cut. Each year in the UK there are, on average, 800,000 babies born yet we bank less than 0.5% of the cord blood available, despite the ease of collection. Unfortunately, this is, in part, due to lack of awareness of cord blood banking.
Cells4Life are passionate about empowering expectant parents with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about banking their baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells. Over the course of the week we will be looking in detail about what cord blood is and the cells found in the umbilical cord tissue. We will also look at regenerative medicine; an exciting area of medical research which uses a patient’s own stem cells to repair damaged or diseased tissues, many believe regenerative therapies are the future of medicine.