From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Cord Blood Banking
Mains level : Stem Cells Therapy
Community Cord Blood Banking, a stem cell banking initiative, has recently helped save the life of a girl child making it India’s first dual cord blood transplant through an unrelated donor.
What is Cord Blood Banking?
- Community Banking is a new sharing economy model of stem cell banking that was pioneered by LifeCell in India.
- Parents who choose to store their child’s cord blood in a community bank will have access, in the event of medical need, to all of the other cord blood units in the bank.
- A community bank is like a public cord blood bank in that the members are supporting each other, but it is also like a private bank because the members pay for this service and outsiders cannot participate.
- It can fill an unmet health need in a country like India, where there is no national network of public banks and the population has unique genetics that are not covered by banks elsewhere in the world.
- It is different from “hybrid” banking where both public and family banks share a laboratory, because in hybrid banks the pubic and family sides operate separately.
- In a community bank the public and family functions are blended.
Benefits of cord blood
- It gives protection to a baby against all conditions treatable using stem cells (own & donor).
- It gives protection to the baby’s siblings, parents and grandparents (maternal & paternal) by providing unrelated donor stem cells.
Back2Basics: Stem Cell Therapy
- It is a type of treatment option that uses a patient’s own stem cells to repair damaged tissue and repair injuries.
- It is used to treat more than 80 disorders including neuromuscular and degenerative disorders. Eg. Bone-marrow transplant is used in Leukemia (blood cancer), sickle-cell anemia, immunodeficiency disorders.
- Stem cells are usually taken from one of the two areas in the patient’s body: bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue in their upper thigh/abdomen.
- Because it is common to remove stem cells from areas of stored body fat, some refer to stem cell therapy as “Adipose Stem Cell Therapy” in some cases.