Families choosing to bank their stem cells – usually in the form of cord blood and/or dental pulp stem cells, typically view their decision as “biological insurance.” A Phase II clinical trial is investigating the safety and efficacy of autologous [the patient’s own] cord blood stem cells to treat children with behavioral and social difficulties associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In a clear demonstration of the value of banking your own stem cells, only families that chose to bank their children’s cord blood were qualified to participate in the study.
Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found that age has a profound effect on the efficacy of transplanted mesenchymal stem cell therapy. A series of previous studies had shown that stem cells could repair damage done to lungs caused by pulmonary fibrosis, but those studies relied on donor cells from relatively young animals. This study examined the differences in young and old stem cells, finding substantial differences in their biological utility.