Statistics Of Stem Cell Transplant

 

 
 
Statistics Of Stem Cell Transplant  

Stem cells possess the ability to grow into many types of cells in the body. This capability of growing into different type of cells has made them very special carrying out repair and growth of new cells replacing the damaged and aged cells. Stem cells exist in two varieties embryonic and adult stem cells.

In the recent few years stem cell therapy has gained wide popularity amongst the doctors and scientists because of its unique ability to treat and cure many malignant and non-malignant types of diseases. Researches on stem cells are still on and there is hope that in due course several diseases and conditions would be cured. Even cancer and birth defects could be cured with stem cell therapy.

Scientists claim that in future stem cells could be utilized in remaking cells and tissues to cure many diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries, heart diseases, diabetes and arthritis.

At present, there are 2 methods of stem cell transplants. The first type is called autologous transplant in which the patient’s own stem cells are collected and harvested and then transplanted back to his body. In the second type known as allogenic transplant the stem cells are acquired from a donor’s body and then transplanted to the patient’s body. Most of the time donors are from the patients close relatives which may result into mismatching of cells. Hence it is advisable to have donor’s cells from a person who is not related to the patient.

Finding donors is the challenge for scientists. The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) carried out during the 1980s and 1990s has helped accumulating a huge amount of donor stem cell registry. In the year 2003, there were over 5 million volunteer donors and over 28,000 units of cord blood available in the registry of the NMDP. Around 40 percent of the donors and recipients live in another country besides the US. In the year 2008, nearly 20 percent of the stem cell transplants taking place in the US were done using cord blood.

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