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Question
Posted by: Spikey | 2009-09-22

Baby' s stem cells

Hi there. I' ve heard that it' s a good idea to store your baby' s stem cells in a bank. Is this something youd recommend? I know that it costs quite a lot, but I don' t want to deprive my child of future health. thks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageStem Cell Guest Expert

Private umbilical cord blood stem cell storage is provided by three private facilities in South Africa. These cells are destined for use in the child from whom they were harvested, or immedate family members (1:4 likelihood of a match in siblings, and 1:8 in partnts). Currently, the indications for the use of these cells in the child from whom they were harvested (autologous use) are very limited. This is for several reasons: (1) the low number of cells; (2) the fact that conditions which have a genetic component will be reintroduced into the patient if the patient's own cells are used. However, these cells might be useful in the future when the technology for regenerative medicine has advanced to a point where they can be grown to produce a wide range of cells in the body (see the other questions on this website). The bottom line: if you have the resources to pay for storage, then do so. However, do not compromise your family financially if you do not have the resources. There are (currently and in the future) several other important sources of stem cells that can be used for the treatment of a wide range of diseases (including those classified under so-called "regenerative medicine").

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