Stem cells are the progenitors of live.
Adult stem cells are livelong residents in the human body. They can be derived e.g. from bone marrow or the umbilical cord blood. Stem cells serve as basis for the continuous regeneration of tissues and organs as well as the immune and haematopoietic system. Therefore they are of paramount importance for the treatment of disorders like leukaemia.
Umbilical cord blood is not only particularly rich in stem cells, but comprises especially young and viable cells. Umbilical cord blood donation is easy and moreover risk- as well as pain-free to the donor, actually it does not affect the mother or the child at all. Unfortunately nowadays information regarding the possibility of donating stem cells is still insufficient. Hence, 98% of all available cord blood units are discarded and disposed and are therefore irrecoverably lost for potential therapeutic applications.
Two options for the reasonable exploitation of umbilical cord blood are offered: Public cord blood donation (any expenses are 100% incurred) and private cord blood banking (parents bare the full costs).