Using Cord Blood Stem Cells for Treating Leukemia

Stem Cell Therapy (SCT) is a treatment of various life-threatening disorders using stem cells. These stem cells can be obtained from many different sources and may be used in treating more than 80 disorders, including neuromuscular and degenerative disorders. This therapy is done by doing the transplantation of the stem cells.

It is the process in which a patient receives healthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) to replace their own that are destroyed by disease or radiation or high doses of anticancer drugs as part of the procedure. The healthy stem cells may originate from the patient’s blood or bone marrow, a donor, or a newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood.

Stem cell transplants are most commonly used for blood or immune-influencing cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. Stem cells in the bone marrow and cord blood are immature cells. These stem cells can regenerate into any type of cells of the body even the blood cells. A stem cell transplant can sometimes help people in treating various types of life-threatening diseases.

Stem cells taken from a donor can also help to treat certain types of cancer in a manner other than replacing stem cells. Often donated cells tend to get rejected by the recipient’s body. This is called the effect of “graft vs. blood cancer”. It means that when stem cells from other person are infused into the patient’s body then the immune cells of the patient cannot recognize the foreign cells and starts destroying the healthy cells instead of killing the cancer cells.

At this point, cord blood stem cells are used for transplantation. There are normally a large number of stem cells in the blood of newborn babies. The blood left behind in the placenta and umbilical cord (known as cord blood) for later use in a stem cell transplant can be taken and stored after birth. The blood of the cord is frozen until it is necessary. A transplant of cord blood uses blood that is normally thrown out after the birth of a child.

A stem cell therapy in India may be an important part of treatment in some cancers, such as certain leukemias, multiple myeloma, and some lymphomas. It works like this: high doses of chemo (sometimes with radiation) are used to kill cancer cells. But high doses can also kill all stem cells of the body and cause the bone marrow to stop building blood cells that we need to live on. This is where transplants from stem cells come in. The transplanted stem cells destroy the cancerous cells and regenerate themselves to take place of the destroyed cells.


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