Stem cells are capable of producing all the three types of blood cells produced in human body i.e. red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. Researchers have discovered that stem cells can be used for the treatment of 80 different diseases including thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, leukemia diabetes and cardiac diseases.
The major sources for stem cell banking are storing of peripheral blood and bone marrow, umbilical cord blood (UCB) is by far considered as the largest component for hematopoietic stem cells. Donated cord blood has become one of the most reliable sources for stem cells over the last decade and is thus considered as a valuable biological resource.
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The chances of cord blood sample matching with the patients that is closely in relation to the baby whose sample is to be used are 39% more than the sample obtained from the public banks. Cord blood banking services is a promising and a fast growing segment in the field of next generation stem cell therapy and national cord blood registries are changing perception and look of the industry.
Cord blood can be stored in either of the two ways, banking in private cord blood banks or donating in public cord blood banks. Private cord blood banks collect and store cord blood for the use of baby and close family members only. Collection and storage of the cord blood is charged to the parents of the baby. And secondly the cord blood can be donated to a public bank where the cord blood unit is stored and is publically available for the suitable match.
All the charges of storage and maintenance of the cord blood unit obtained from public bank are taken from the patient or patient’s family for whom the unit is going to utilize in transplantation process. Though globally the number of private cord blood banks are more as compared to public banks, number of units stored in public banks are more than units of cord blood banks stored in private banks globally.
The amount of stem cells required for the transplantation process vary depending on person’s weight and age. The major disadvantage of cord blood storing in private cord blood bank is that the single unit of the cord blood contains insufficient amount of stem cells and becomes difficult to treat adults using stem cell transplant. On the other hand, cord blood units stored in public banks is available to any patient matching with the blood unit sample stored in public banks globally. And hence multiple units can be utilized for single patient to meet the requirement of the stem cells in transplantation procedure.
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Taking inability of the privately stored cord blood units to meet the requirement of the amount of stem cell into consideration healthcare professionals are focusing on enhancing cord blood inventory in public banks so that demand for the cord blood units can be matched. Gynecologists, pediatricians and obstetricians recommend to store cord blood in private banks only if the family has history of the disease that can be treated using stem cells.
Geographically North America is dominating the global cord blood banking services market followed by Europe. Governments taking initiative to regulate the cord blood banking industry in the country and implementation of hybrid model to reduce the attrition between private cord blood banking and public cord blood banks is driving the growth of cord blood banking services market. Asia-Pacific is lucrative market owing to increased cord blood banking in countries like China and India.
Contribution of Asian countries in banking cord blood is expected to increase further as medical tourism industry is booming in this region. Growing awareness about cord blood banking and treatments that can cure blood borne diseases using stem cells in cord blood is increasing. Countries like France, Italy and UAE have banned private banking of the cord blood. Governments of these countries are actively participating in establishing nationwide public banks to enhance the inventory of the cord blood units.