Stemcells

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What are stemcells?

Stemcells are cells that possess the capacity of renewal and differentiation in various types of cells of the human body. Stemcells differ from the other types of cells of the body because they have not yet developed and they have not yet synthesized proteins specific to a certain type of cells. They may multiply and renew for long periods of time. They may differentiate and evolve in cells with specific functions, of the heart, of the lungs, of the skin, etc. Stemcells form permanently and they renew our blood, our bone marrow and our immunity system. They are found in high concentrations in the blood of the umbilical cord, and after the birth, these cells continue to multiply.

The sources of stemcells of the human body are represented by:

  • embryo ( in the stage of blastocyst ) ,
  • the blood from the umbilical cord (hematopoietic stemcells) ,
  • the tissue from the umbilical cord (mesenchymal stemcells) ,
  • various tissues of the adult (especially in the bone marrow, adipose tissue).

Stemcells have the extraordinary capacity to create new tissues when they divide and develop. This capacity that they have, makes them unique and important, showing great therapeutic potential for disorders of all the organs.

Reasons to preserve stemcells

The stem cells from the umbilical cord represent an important alternative to transplant in blood, genetic and oncological diseases.
Their usefulness has been proven following numerous studies made by researchers from all over the world.
Stem cells differ from the other types of cells of the body.

The main reasons why to preserve stem cells are described below:

1. They are the youngest, the strongest, the less immunologically specialized and the healthiest cells of the body, to which we have easy access, and which are very useful in severe disorders and serious trauma.
2. They have not been influenced by the harmful effects of the environment, nor by lifestyle, they are equipped with all the forces of a unique and ,,immortal” body.
3. They are capable of targeted healing; thus, in case of disease, the hematopoietic stem cells will know exactly where they must act.
4.They may be collected only once in a human’s life: on its birth. The moment of birth represents the unique opportunity to collect these cells. The cryogenation of stem cells allows their preservation for a long time for any possible future use.
5. Their sampling is easy and painless. It does not influence in any way the natural development of the birth and, in comparison with the sampling of bone marrow cells, no invasive procedure is necessary.
6.The child is given a great probability to use its own stem cells from the umbilical cord blood at some moment in its life. The probability that this occurs is of 1/400. Therefore, you have the chance to protect the life of your child, benefiting from a transplant that is perfectly compatible with the baby.
7. The stem cells may not only be used for your own child, but their use may be extended to parents, siblings, depending on the compatibility degree.
8.Today, the stem cells from the umbilical blood may be useful to treat over 80 diseases.

 

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Therapies

More than 80 diseases can be treated with stem cells Leukemia More than 2,000 children are diagnosed annually with leukemia Immune system deficiencies.

“Diseases of the immune system when life-threatening, stem cell transplantation chance of cure is complete and permanent”. National Institutes of Health Child and Human Development Myeloma

Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer worldwide. Sickle cell anemia: Approximately 300,000 babies are born with a severe form of this disease around the globe.

Lymphoma: Approximately 628 415 people are currently diagnosed with lymphoma or are in remission

Thalassemia: 5% of the world’s population is carrying a gene that causes thalassemia

Stem cell therapies that are in clinical trial Diabetes Every year more than 70,000 children develop type 1 diabetes, diseases about 200 per day.

Alzheimer : Now worldwide are diagnosed with Alzheimer disease more than 18 million patients.

It is predicted that this number will double by 2025 Parkinson Between 7 and 10 million people worldwide are diagnosed with Parkinson Cerebral palsy 10,000 infants and children annually are diagnosed with cerebral palsy Spinal cord injury .

Currently there are over 6 million people diagnosed with spinal cord injuries. Stroke World Health Organization says more than 5.8 million people die each year after stroke.

Muscular dystrophy 500-600 male infants are diagnosed annually in the US with muscular dystrophy bone marrow gene therapy bone tissue stem cells heart muscle fat tissue cartilage tendons and ligaments biopharmaceuticals

Who can use your baby’s stem cells ? Your kid 100% biological parents 0-50% biological siblings 0-75% close relatives 0-20%

 

Some additional diseases that can be cured are:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Chronic leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Other diseases of the stem cell: Aplastic anemia Congenital cytopenia Congenital dyskeratosis Fanconi anemia
  • Congenital diseases of the immunity system : Absence of T or B lymphocytes ,Absence only of Τ lymphocytes ,Ataxia-teleangiectasia, Leukocyte adhesion deficiency etc          The detailed list of the diseases that can be cured by stemcells is permanently growing. The diseases or situations requiring tissue regeneration are the potential candidates for such therapy.
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Blood stemcells

The hematopoietic stemcells are blood cells that could generate other types of blood cells. Sources of hematopoietic stemcells: – bone marrow in adults (femur and sternum) – umbilical cord blood (in very large number) – peripheral blood (in small number) The hematopoietic stemcells are responsible for maintaining constant the immune protection of every type of cell of the body. The hematopoietic stemcells may renew and differentiate in various types of specialized cells, they may stimulate the bone marrow and they may act upon the cellular apoptosis. The umbilical cord blood is an important source of hematopoietic stemcells. The umbilical cord blood is the blood that circulates between the placenta and the umbilical cord during the pregnancy. This blood is rich in stemcells. The blood and tissue of the umbilical cord may be collected both during a natural birth, and during a C-section birth, and the opportunity to collect these cells occurs only once in life. The sampling process is painless and harmless, it starts after the fetus is expelled and after the umbilical cord is cut, therefore it has no harmful effect on the baby or on the mother.

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Umblical Cord Βlood Τissue

The mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stem cells that may differentiate in a wide variety of cellular types.

For this reason they can be used in regenerative medicine for the regeneration of tissues and organs.

Another important characteristic of the messenchymal stem cells is the possibility of proliferation of these cells, without them losing “plasticity” them.

The source of these cells is the tissue of the umbilical cord, the umbilical cord blood, the body’s muscles, the amniotic fluid and the baby teeth.

The Mesenchymal cells mainly located in the portion of the umbilical cord.

The collection can be made from a small piece of cord 15-20 cm, immediately after childbirth. The cells that develop into specialized cells with the help of medicine, in the future we expect their use in even more areas of medicine.