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.
Professor Lars Nielson and his team at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology are utilizing stem cells to develop a treatment for patients at risk for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN). Neutropenia is caused by the lack of white blood cells. By differentiating stem cells into white blood cells, the treatment reduces the ‘risk’ period of infection and fever following chemotherapy.
Author Kali Sakai, reports on banking stem cells from teeth in Parent Map. The daughter of a dentist, Sakai learned about teeth, however she was unaware of the stem cells inside teeth. As Sakai states, “It blew my mind to think that my child’s baby tooth could hold the key to a life-saving treatment in her adulthood”.