What are stem cells?
Stem cells are found in three primary sources: bone marrow, peripheral (circulating) blood, and umbilical cord blood. Stem cells are the body's master cells, the building blocks of organs, blood, and the immune system and can turn into other cell types including bone, heart, muscle, nerve, and liver.
In the late 1980s, doctors found success using cord blood stem cells to treat diseases that had previously been treated with bone marrow transplantation.
When used to treat disease or injury, the patient's own stem cells are re-introduced into the body and know how to migrate to the damaged area of the body and begin repairing the tissue.
After thousands of uses, cord blood stem cells have proven effective for medical treatments in both adults and children.
Why are stem cells so valuable?
Stem cells are used to treat dozens of diseases and disorders, and many more treatments are on the horizon.
Until recently patients suffering from malignant blood disorders would have to rely on finding a bone marrow donor. The chances of finding a match are less than 1 in 40,000 (10 times higher for patients of Asian and Arabic heritage), and even after a successful bone marrow transplant, rejection would occur in up to 50% of cases.
Stem cells have proven to be a natural alternative to bone marrow transplants, with no risk of rejection…these are the patient's own stem cells.
Research has shown that the remarkable additional benefit from storing these life-saving cells is that there is a 4:1 chance that the new-born's stem cells could be used to treat the baby's siblings.
The number of uses for stem cells is expected to grow substantially with continuous international research. With the remarkable ability to specialise into different types of cells, stem cells could be used to treat an extraordinary range of diseases and conditions, including:
Spinal Cord Injury
Such a simple procedure at birth could save your child's life from a wide and growing range of illnesses.
When are stem cells collected?
Collection of the stem cells is made immediately after birth. At this time the umbilical cord blood is rich with these potentially life-saving cells, which in the past would have been discarded with the placenta.
The cord blood collection bag supplied with your smartbaby* kit can hold a maximum of 200ml of blood; however a a minimum of 60ml is recommended. It is possible to collect the stem cells either before or after the placenta has been delivered. This makes the collection of your baby's stem cells a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Tooth stem cell technology now available in Malta
The ground-breaking Stem Cell retrieval process is now available in Malta. The non-invasive stem cell retrieval process from baby teeth is now available in the Maltese Islands making Malta one of the first EU countries to introduce this technology.
BioEDEN have developed a new process to collect, isolate and store Stem Cells from children’s naturally shed baby teeth. Tooth Stem Cells are found in Baby or children’s “deciduous” teeth. These teeth fall out naturally or can be extracted when a child is between 6 and 11 years old and the BioEDEN process makes it possible for these Tooth Stem Cells to be saved for use whenever they may be needed.
“Stem cell therapy has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of human disease. However, there has been some strong criticism of embryonic stem cell research and certain groups of doctors and nurses remain critical of the collection of Stem Cells taken from umbilical cord blood,” explained Dr Joseph Xuereb, the newly appointed representative of BioEDEN in the Maltese Islands.
“It can be described as “Biological Insurance” for your family. It makes sense to preserve these potentially life-saving cells for a child, rather than discard them.” says Jim Curtis managing director of BioEDEN.
Stem Cells service in Malta
Stem cells storage service in Malta is provided by:
Lifeline Biotech Ltd
Associated Drug Co Ltd
Tel: (356) 2277 8000
Future Cells Ltd / Cryo-Save Malta
St. Anne's Clinic
Triq il-Kanonku Pirotta,
Tel: (356) 9925 5637; Fax: (356) 2540 1209
Smart Cells (International) Malta
Tel: (356) 2355 7323; Mob: 7945 8187