Source and Uses of Stem Cells | LifeCell

Uses of Stem Cells

Need for stem cells

Stem cells sourced from various parts of the body such as bloodstream, umbilical cord and bone marrow are retrieved from the patient’s own body or from the donor are routinely used in replacement therapies to treat a variety of blood, bone marrow and immune related conditions. Most recently, stem cells are also used in regenerative medicine to repair the damaged tissues and organs in the body.

Probability of needing stem cells

Replacement therapies

1 in 20 individuals have a chance of being diagnosed with 80+ medical conditions that can be treated by stem cell transplant (10% of these would eventually require a stem cell for transplant)

Repair therapies

A Lifetime possibility of a person requiring stem cell transplant for regenerative conditions is 1 in 3

Where are these stem cells found?

In 20% of the conditions, patient’s own stem cells are preferred, since the leakage of affected cells are low. Hence there is no rejection of these own stem cells during transplant and also does not pose a risk of relapse. The common conditions treated using patient’s own stem cells are Neuroblastoma, Multiple Myeloma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Medulloblastoma, Retinoblastoma etc.,

In 80% of conditions, donor stem cells that are cancer free are preferred since the affected cell leakage is high and also donor stem cells are the only option for treatment of inherited genetic conditions. The common conditions where donor stem cells are used for replacement therapies are Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Beta Thalassemia major, SCID, Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome etc.,

A patient’s need for donor stem cells in transplants for replacement and repair therapies is 4 times more than that of the patient’s own source of stem cells.

Current options available to source own and donor stem cells

In the current scenario, during times of need, an individual can source a matching stem cell unit from any of the following options listed below:
Private cord blood banks
Umbilical cord blood stem cells preserved for exclusive use
Public Cord Blood Banks
Umbilical cord blood stem cells from unrelated donors
Bone Marrow Registries
Listing of donors registered for voluntary donation of bone marrow stem cells

Challenges of sourcing a matching donor from the above options

Despite availability of public cord blood banks and bone marrow registries, a large number of patients are unable to find matching stem cells due to underlying challenges such as:
Limited Stem Cell Pool
Insufficient inventory of cord blood stem cells based on ethnicity in public bank (less than 1% of global inventory) and limited listing of bone marrow donors
The inventory of donor units currently available:
Public cord blood units
< 1% of global inventory
.75 Million
Bone marrow donors
.18 Million
< 1% of global inventory
25 Million
High Cost
Retrieval of Donor stem cells for stem cell transplant, during times of crisis would cost as high as $12500 - $17900 making it inaccessible to a large portion of the Indian population.
Delays / Refusal Upon Need
Procuring a match from a public bone marrow bank could take about 3 months as about 40-50% of bone marrow donors could be unavailable or may refuse to donate when required for transplant.

The Key Determinants of Finding a Matching Donor

For Indian umbilical cord registry size of 25,000 only 18.3% would find a perfect 6/6 HLA match
An increased size of 250,000 cord blood units would increase match rate within India to exceed that of US NMDP registries
The Need
An ideal solution wherein a large inventory of stem cells are available immediately when required for transplant at a low cost.
The Comprehensive Solution has arrived EXPLORE