Cord blood research and T1D

I’m expecting my first child soon and trying to decide whether to pay for umbilical cord blood banking (unfortunately I don’t qualify for donation to a public bank). The initial cost of private banking is substantial: around $1500 or more.

Has anyone else looked into cord blood banking for newborns? What sort of research breakthroughs might be on the horizon for those of us with T1D? Besides cost, what other factors should I consider?

I would have it stored: the cost is small compared to the potential benefits. See:

J Diabetes. 2015 Nov;7(6):762-73.

Therapeutic potential of umbilical cord blood cells for type 1 diabetes mellitus.

He B, et al.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a chronic disorder that results from autoimmune-mediated destruction of pancreatic islet β-cells. However, to date, no conventional intervention has successfully treated the disease. The optimal therapeutic method for T1DM should effectively control the autoimmunity, restore immune homeostasis, preserve residual β-cells, reverse β-cell destruction, and protect the regenerated insulin-producing cells against re-attack. Umbilical cord blood is rich in regulatory T (T(reg)) cells and multiple types of stem cells that exhibit immunomodulating potential and hold promise in their ability to restore peripheral tolerance towards pancreatic islet β-cells through remodeling of immune responses and suppression of autoreactive T cells. Recently, reinfusion of autologous umbilical cord blood or immune cells from cord blood has been proposed as a novel therapy for T1DM, with the advantages of no risk to the donors, minimal ethical concerns, a low incidence of graft-versus-host disease and easy accessibility. In this review, we revisit the role of autologous umbilical cord blood or immune cells from cord blood-based applications for the treatment of T1DM.

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