Stem cell banking gives your child access to a huge range of emerging stem cell therapies that may otherwise be unavailable to them.  The idea is that as they age their perfectly matched, banked stem cells are ready and waiting to repair damaged tissue, for example regenerating cartilage if they suffer from arthritis, or treat debilitating and ultimately terminal age related conditions such as Parkinson’s.

In this article we look at some of 2021’s cornerstone developments in the field of stem cell therapy and advances in stem cell banking technology, so that you stay up to date on what your child’s stem cells can do for them and your family.

Here are our highlights…

Study reveals placenta injections could alleviate symptoms of arthritis.

Just a year after we launched our new placenta stem cell banking service, British-US based firm Organogensis, demonstrated that a single injection of cells from the amnion improved the symptoms and pain of patients suffering from arthritis in a 200 patient clinical trial.

Find out more here.

Spinal cord injuries repaired in patients using their own stem cells

Spinal cord injuries repaired in patients using their own stem cellsResearchers prepared stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow and cultured the cells in the lab for two weeks. After the cells had been expanded, each patient received intravenous injections of their own stem cells, opening up an exciting avenue for spinal cord repair.
Banked umbilical cord stem cells may provide an even better source for this therapy, as they are younger, and therefore more potent, and would also negate the need for invasive bone marrow extraction. 
Find more info here.

Mesenchymal stem cells as potential treatment for bradykinesia.

A company in the US has concluded treating their first group pf Patients in a Phase-1 clinical trial evaluating the use of umbilical cord derived stem cells as a potential therapy for bradykinesia, a disease closely linked to Parkinsons. Bradykinesia is thought to have an inflammatory element, so it is hoped that cells from the umbilical cord will modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. 
This study is recruiting 15 patients with Parkinson’s disease, ages 55 or older, who have been experiencing bradykinesia for at least three months before enrolment.
More info here.

Treatment for bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants shows promising results.

A Phase II trial investigating the use of umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in premature infants has shown promising initial results, giving way to a larger Phase II study. This wider study will focusing on a subset of babies born at 23 to 24 weeks, who look to be the group that have benefitted from the therapy.

Find more info here.

Bioprinted mini pancreas shows promise in providing personalised therapies for diabetes

A swiss company has announced that they are able to 3D print a miniature pancreas, complete with blood vessels, from stem cells in just 30 seconds.  The idea behind this proof of concept is that we will be able to test diabetes drugs on a pancreatic tissue made from a person’s own stem cells to see how they respond and identify what the best course of action to take for treatment would be.  
By choosing stem cell banking you have not just secured a resource for future stem cell therapies.  As this example shows, you may also given you child them access to this exciting new world of personalised medicine. 
Find more info here.

A comparison of TotiCyte against other stem cell banking technologies was published in the Journal of Stem Cells Research, Development and Therapy

TotiCyte is the technology that powers our CellsPlus stem cell banking service. This publication is a head-to-head comparison of TotiCyte against the other cord blood processing methods currently available in the UK. The paper, which was subject to peer-review prior to publication, shows that cord blood units processed using TotiCyte contain between 2.2 and 3 times more stem cells at the point of therapy than other available systems.

Read the paper here.

Mesenchymal stem cells form new tendon tissue in patient

A comprehensive set of analysis performed on tendon tissue taken from a patient who received an injection of his own stem cells to treat a knee injury showed that the tendon had regenerated because the mesenchymal stem cells that had been injected transformed into new tendon tissue.

Find out more here.

Heart tissue grown from stem cells in a lab used to identify new COVID-19 drug

Stem cell scientist at Cambridge University used stem cells to grow a beating heart cells in a dish.  They then looked at how these cells became infected with COVID-19 and identified an experimental drug, DX600, that helps block the virus from breaking into the cell.  Further research is required, but it is hoped that DX600 could be used to reduce heart damage in severe COVID-19 patients. 
By banking your child’s own stem cells, medicine like this could be personalised. Scientists would be able to grow cells that are genetically identical to your child, enabling them to identify the best drugs to use, should a treatment be needed. 
Find out more here.

Stem cell therapy reduces symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

A phase 1 clinical study at the Royal Perth Hospital, Australia, showed that mesenchymal stem cells resulted a strong transitory reduction is the molecules that cause inflammation in COPD. 
This suggests that there may be clinical benefit in providing sufferers with regular injections of MSCs to improve their condition. 
Find out more here.

Cells4Life releases two more samples to treat brain injury

We released two further cord blood samples to Duke University in the USA for the treatment of sibling cerebral palsy – we wish both families all the best with their treatment.  
To date brain injury, has been the most common condition that we have released umbilical cord blood samples for, with most of these going to the specialist centre at Duke, which has pioneered this therapy.   
Find out more here.

A new documentary Ending Disease shone light of the amazing breakthroughs in stem cell therapy

The documentary followed the treatments of patients like Ryan Custer, a basketball player who was paralysed from the chest down, Cheryl Wiers, a mum with double relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Andrew Caldwell who received a stem cell transplant to functionally cure his HIV.

Find out more here.

Banked amniotic membrane used to treat keratitis

Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea in the eye that can ultimatly result in an ulcer. Doctors in Ukraine have found that a graft of stored amniotic membrane is both a safe and effective therapy with 25 out of 27 patients showing a positive therapeutic effect on discharge and 26 out of 27 patients showing healing of the cornea after 3 months. 
Cells4Life is the only company in the UK that banks amniotic membrane at birth, meaning your child can access the widest range of therapies available in the future. 
Find out more here.

Looking to 2022…

We will continue to keep you informed of the latest developments in stem cells so that you can keep fully up to date on how stem cell banking can help you and your family.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep in touch and even join the conversation.
In the meantime, from the whole Cells4Life team, we would like to thank you for choosing the UK’s leading stem cell bank and wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
If you have any questions or would like to store your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells, simply call 01444 873950.

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