Two of the most common questions parents have about umbilical cord stem cell storage are:
- How long can umbilical cord stem cells be safely stored?
- How long should I store my child’s umbilical cord stem cells?
The first question is perhaps the easiest to answer. Research tells us that stem cells from umbilical cord remain viable after 23 years of storage (Verter, 2015). Research into how much longer stem cells can be cryogenically frozen for is ongoing, but at this point there is potential for many decades of storage. Many in the medical community believe that stem cells may be cryogenically preserved for many hundreds of years if need be.
How Long Should I Save the Umbilical Cord Stem Cells?
Initially many parents believed that retaining the child’s umbilical cord stem cells until they reached adulthood was sufficient. That would ensure that if the child was diagnosed with an immune system disorder, leukaemia or some other degenerative disease, they could be treated with their own stem cells. After that they would either donate the stem cells to a public bank or even discard them.
However, with the recent progress of research into regenerative medicine, there is potential value in retaining your child’s umbilical cord stem cells for many more decades. In the future, stem cells may be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions including: heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, breast cancer, ligament damage, spinal injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy and healing of damaged tissue.
It is thought that in the future, stem cell treatments could be used to treat accidental injury and repair ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, muscle, cartilage, bone and skin. In that scenario, having the stem cells preserved may help with potential accidents long into the future. Read more about potential regenerative medical procedures.
Even if your child does not use their stem cells within the first 20 years of their life, will your family need them? If anyone within your family requires a regenerative medical procedure within the next 10 or 20 years it would be beneficial to have stem cells preserved. It is important to remember that umbilical stem cells can be used to treat entire family — stem cells are a valuable medical asset for your loved ones.
Some of the regenerative medical procedures currently being researched include cosmetic enhancements like curing baldness and improving skin condition. Some research is also going into retaining cognitive performance into old age with stem cells. In the future, umbilical stem cells might be increase human lifespan, improve their physical appearance and improve their quality of life as they age. You might encounter Alzheimer’s disease as you age and require the stem cells yourself. Because of the advancements of medical technology, you or your family is virtually assured of using your child’s umbilical stem cells at some point.
Cells4Life Offer Long Term Storage
Cells4Life use cutting edge technology to maximise the lifespan of umbilical cord blood and tissue in storage. Samples are processed quickly using automated technology, then stored in multiple locations for added security.
Cells4Life offer 20, 25 & 30 year storage programs for all services. Read more about our available umbilical cord stem cell storage plans.
Verter, D. (2015). Parent's Guide to Cord Blood. Parentsguidecordblood.org. Retrieved 12 April 2015, from http://parentsguidecordblood.org/