We all seem to be aware of the deadly effects of leukemia, especially in infants. The prevalence of the disease interferes with every sphere of our daily lives and activities. A combination of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant can find us relief though; they expose us to minor to severe side effects, including graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), coupled with some complaints of toxicities as well. However, a recent research from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center had confirmed that treatment with umbilical cord blood transplant offers a better survival outcome, without any need of a traditional donor match. So, all the leukemia patients need not to queue in the line for years to find a matched donor for their stem cell transplants.
Nor does the umbilical cord blood treatment offer better curative possibilities for patients with leukemia; it alleviates the chronic conditions associated with Myelodysplastic syndrome and other bone marrow disorders as well.
How Cord Blood Treatment Raises Hopes for Us Suffering from Leukemia
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center highlighted the benefits of cord blood treatments. And it is established that in patients with “minimal residual disorder” could not benefit from the transplant as the chemotherapy does not put cancer cells into remission, while patients with detectable cancer could remain alive for three years after the transplant.
The research focused on the successful treatment options of the cord blood therapy, which improved the conditions of patients with detectable cancer cells, with less traces of relapse complexities.
Conversely, patients with minimal residual disorder who underwent the transplant using adult and unmatched donor cells faced very poor outcomes.
For bone marrow cell transplant, patients with matching donor can receive a higher chance of transplant. At the same time, transplants with mismatched donor cells could be effective, but they do not occur more often. However, the cord blood transplant does not advocate for a matched donor for the successful treatment or transplant.
Hence, you are more likely to receive a range of great advantages from a cord blood transplant as opposed to bone marrow stem cells.
Every one of us has a greater access to the cord blood donors. And that’s the reason why cord blood transplant can be made available to more populations as compared to the adult or allogeneic stem cells.
Adult stem cells work in sync with Human Leukocyte Antigen or HLA genes in our body to confirm the likelihood of acceptance or rejection of donor stem cells. Since, umbilical cord blood cells are not as developed or matured as adult stem cells, they do not require following the unique genetic background rules to match HLA. And hence, the doctors and clinicians can collect stem cells quicker and can initiate the treatment faster than stem cell therapies.
The transplant using stem cells is less likely to be dependent on the matched donor, while the mismatched donor is accepted and effective for the curative treatment of this deadly disease.
And hence, an easier accessibility and availability ensures that none of us will remain deprived of the better cancer treatment options, and receive a successful transplant every time.
So, the effective treatment possibilities with stem cells cannot be regarded as an alternative donor. In another way, if you have chances of developing the relapse risks, cord blood transplant is the safest and best choice for you.