The use of grafts of stem cells of the umbilical cord blood presents more advantages compared to stem cells derived from the bone marrow of adults for the following reasons:
- The collection of stem cells after birth is pain free, while the collection of stem cells from bone marrow is pain full and in many cases general anesthesia is required. Finally the whole procedure lasts longer.
- The stem cells of the umbilical cord have more chances to be used from the family as they are younger and have better histocompatibility. Contrary, given that the cells of bone marrow are older, a greater compatibility between donor and recipient is required.
- The survival of patients after transplantation of umbilical cord blood stem cells is double compared to use stem cells of bone marrow, even in cases where the histocompatibility of stem cells from bone marrow is better.
- The availability of the stem cells is direct and no valuable time is wasted for the search of a compatible donor.
- The use of the child’s own stem cells is less expensive than the search of a compatible donor.
- The graft versus host disease is rare when stem cells of the umbilical cord are used. Contrary, it is increased when adult stem cells are used. This syndrome sometimes is lethal for the recipient, when is presented immediately after the transplantation
- When the patient has cancer or leukemia then the stem cells from the bone marrow can not be collected and used. Metastatic cells already circulate there and as a result if these stem cells are administered the disease will reappear.
The blood of the umbilical cord includes more in number and younger age stem cells with a great ability to proliferate, something that does not happen in the greater aged stem cells of the bone marrow