As a caring parent, you always want to provide the best for your child. But how many of us know that the baby can provide a lifetime good health for the entire family? We are talking about stem cell banking. With the boom in research and technology in medical sciences and new awareness among expecting parents, stem cell banking becomes a popular and common practice. Here we are introducing another type of stem cell banking. The one that can put forward protection not only for your baby but also your entire family – Community Stem Cell Banking

Now, you might be wondering what are the benefits of it, and is it beneficial or just a sham? Well, read on to find out all your answers.

What Is A Stem Cell?

Most of the cells in our body make their copies only. For example, a skin cell only can make another skin cell. It cannot make a nerve cell or blood cell.  Stem cells, however, can develop into around 200 types of cells.  It can be evolved into brain cells, blood cells, the cell in different types of organ and organ systems. This ability makes them a perfect solution in treating several health conditions like cancer.

Community Banking And Its Importance:

What Is Community Banking?

Community banking is a kind of stem cell banking wherein a parent can preserve their baby’s cord blood stem cell along with the stem cells of other members of the community. Simply put, it is a public pool of stem cells, with limited access to the members of the community. When in need, the members of the community have easy access to stem cells and also look for donors within the community is needed.

What Is The Importance Of Community Banking?

Eighty percent of the medical issues that can be effectively treated by stem cells need stem cells from a donor source rather than own stem cells. In other words, by preserving stem cells of the baby in a private bank, he will be safeguarded from only 20% of health conditions that are curable with stem cells. Your money and intention will not cover the rest of eighty percent of possible health issues. The community stem cell banking provides immediate access to stem cells from donors that could cover the rest of 80% of health conditions as well. In short, community stem cell banking provides more or less 100% protection to the community members from diseases treatable with stem cells.

Community Cell Banking In India

Despite the increased demand for stem cell transplants, the number of patients who get that treatment in India is quite low. The main reason is the difficulty of finding the matching stem cells for treatment and unaffordable costs. The registered number of bone marrow stem cell donors in India is merely about180,000. This is < 1% of the global donors. To understand better how low this percentage is,  you should be aware of the fact that our country accounts for 1/5 of the world population.

Community Stem Cell Banking is, so far, is the only solution for the issues mentioned above. The community stem cell banking in India ensures the availability of stem cells amongst this community. This system ensures the availability of matching stem cells at low cost and no restrictions.

Top 5 Benefits Of Community Stem Cell Banking In India

Stem cell preservation is never a risk. Rather it’ll prove very beneficial. First of all, it is beneficial price-wise. Here are the top 5 Benefits of community stem cell banking every parent should know about.

  1. Greater opportunity Of Finding A Matching Unit: In India, 70% of people who contracted an illness that could treat by stem cells are left without finding a matching stem cell donor. The sharing concept of community banking provides access to a large inventory. Therefore, it has a higher chance of finding matching HLAs.
  2. Community stem cell banking offers 100 % protection: As mentioned earlier, community stem cell banking offers access to both individual & donor stem cells. By this, it provides 100% stem cell protection for all illnesses that could treat by stem cells.
  3. Community stem cell banking offers complete Family Protection: Community stem cell banking extends the protection of stem cells to the entire family (including child, sibling, parents, and grandparents). It provides effortless access to matching stem cells without any parameter.
  4. Access without additional cost: In community stem cell banking, there will be no additional cost to access the stem cells when required for transplant. Likewise, there will be no restriction on the number of units that can be withdrawn from the pool.
  5. The exclusivity of baby’s stem cell: Most of the health issues treatable by a baby’s stem cells can be diagnosed before the baby turns two years. Thus, during this term, the baby’s stem cells remain exclusive for the use of the baby only.

Moreover, most of the leading stem cell banks in India offer a lot of extra benefits for customers who register with them for Community Banking.

Stem Cells Availability For Transplant In A Community Stem Cell Banking

Stem cell transplant is a procedure in which damaged, diseased or malfunctioning cells or tissues in the body are replaced or repaired by injecting healthy stem cells.

When it comes to stem cell availability, there is one major disadvantages in community/public banks. Here, the donor has to hand over the ownership to the community bank (though the baby’s stem cells remain exclusive for the use of the baby only until he or she turns two years). Community banks have strict principles for the samples they grant for transplant. In the community or public banks, only 1:5 samples are used for transplant, and the rest will go for research purposes. Therefore, even if you are a member of a community bank, you may have to wait to find a match.

Can I Bank Stem Cells If I’m Having Twins?

The answer is yes, and no.  Public banks have a strategy that is not in favor of allowing cord blood donations from twin births. They only accept cord blood donations of single babies. This is because

  • Each umbilical cord of the twins may have different kinds of cells, and there are more chances of mixing up the two cord blood units during collection.
  • Another reason is that the twins will have a smaller amount of cord blood in the umbilical cord and the placenta when compared to a singleton. In public banking, the donor must meet the donation storage threshold. The odds of both twins having an adequate amount of blood to satisfy the storage threshold of the community banking are very less.

However, family banks have no issues in receiving cord blood from twin births. They encourage donating stem cells from both twins for better biological insurance.

As we have already explored the manifolds of stem cell banking, community, and private bank services, etc. It is always a parent’s decision to decide what’s best for their baby. Stem cell banking is a boon in medical and research technology and is a promising change in the healthcare domain. They are storing stem cells not on benefits the baby and the family, but also the community. And since stem cells regenerate, and multiply at a very fast rate, bone marrow can also be used for stem cells, if need be.

We hope you found this blog useful. Do share your thoughts in the comments below.