Thousands autologous stem cells transplantations are performed every year, for disease like myeloma, lumphoma and solid tumors. Clinical trials for cerebral palsy and diabetes also use with safety umbilical cord blood stem cells. Research has shown that the possibility of leukemia development in a patient with predisposition is 1% and 99% of the persons with predisposition will never develop leukemia. So the possibility of 1% for someone who will take histocompatible graft from a public bank exists
Autologous transplantation is better than allogeneic, because the cells never rejected, are immediately available and there is not possibility to be contaminated with a virus. On April 2001 a child 10 months old with retinoblastoma (malignant tumor of retina) which was expanded to the spinal cord was treated successfully with its own stem cells from the umbilical cord. On the 2007 another child 3 years old with acute leukemia was treated successfully with its own stem cells. In both cases the families had cryopreserved their childrens’ umbilical cord blood. The result of the treatment in both cases was cure.
Autologous stem cells can not been used in treatment genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia. If the child has a genetic disease, the cells are not useful in transplantation or regenerative medicine. The only potential therapy using autologous stem cells in a child with genetic disease is the gene therapy, which up to date is in experimental stage. The child’s sick stem cells transformed to healthy by delivering corrective genes.
A sibling’s cord blood stem cells is the next best option, so it is very important every child in the family to bank its cells.