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Comparison between cord blood cell and bone marrow cell transplants

  • Stem cell research has helped in curing many life-threatening diseases. The use of these cells is limitless; they have the ability to regenerate themselves for curing the withered cells in the affected area in the human body. With the increase in the use of these cells, there are many questions regarding the difference between cord blood cells and bone marrow cells. Here is the comparison between these two types of cells:

  • In cord blood donation, no medical risk is faced by the mother or the child. The cells are collected from umbilical cord blood within ten minutes after delivery, without any pain. In case of bone marrow cell donation, a small surgery is done under general anesthesia. In this procedure, the donor experiences some discomfort or pain.

  • In bone marrow cell transplants, the engraftment process is rapid, whereas cord blood cells take longer time to engraft due to which the patient has to stay in hospital for a longer period of time.

  • Cord blood stem cells can be stored for years in special freezers, whereas this process cannot be used for storing bone marrow cells.

  • Bone marrow donors are available for donating blood cells for T-cells, in case of emergency. In case of cord blood cells, this is not possible.

  • For cord blood transplantations, a small amount of stem cells are used as per the weight of the patient, whereas bone marrow cells are required in a very large amount for such purpose.

  • The latent viral infection is very commonly faced by bone marrow donors; however, in cord blood transplants, this is very rare.

  • If a perfect match is found in cord blood cells, then transplants can be done within a few days after doing some basic tests. In case of bone marrow cells, it can take two or more months for transplants, even if the donor is available.

  • In case of cord blood cell transplants, there are risks of transferring unrecognized genetic diseases. It can affect the blood or the immune system of the patient. But in bone marrow transplants, no such risks are involved.