Immunotherapy is a form of therapy that helps treat cancer. Research is continuously being conducted to try to find the safest and most effective forms of treatment. The use of umbilical cord blood is a fairly new study that so far has very promising results. Cord blood provides lots of helpful and important substances, such as stem cells that can be harnessed and applied during immunotherapy treatments for cancer. There is still lots to discover about all of the possible uses of cord blood for treating immune system-related issues. The following article explains what we know so far and how cord blood is being used for immunotherapy.
What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is becoming an important form of cancer treatment. It treats cancer using the body’s own immune system. Alternatively, you may have heard it called immuno-oncology. The body’s immune system is a system of defense that is comprised of particular cells, organs, and other materials to help protect you from harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also helps protect you from the harmful cells that cause cancer.
The problem is that the immune system doesn’t always recognize the cancer cells or isn’t strong enough to fight them. The cancer cells can overwhelm the immune system and render it less effective. T-cells are a part of the immune system that fight harmful agents and do not attack healthy cells. Unfortunately, cancer can confuse the T-cells and cause them to attack healthy cells instead.
Immunotherapy makes cancer treatments more efficient by helping to support the immune system, providing a better chance of fighting or slowing down the cancer cells. Essentially, immunotherapy adds more of the good cells into the body to help fight the bad ones.
How Does Cord Blood Play a Role in Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment?
Researchers have begun extracting healthy T-cells from umbilical cord blood for use in immunotherapy during cancer treatment. Although immunotherapy research is still new, there are positive indications that the use of cord blood could become an important source for creating immunotherapies. Among the many things contained in cord blood, it is packed with stem cells, multiple different immune system cells, and blood cells. Some of these cells have been used to help the treatment work faster when transplanted. Cord blood is also being used for regenerative medicine. Cord blood from donors is being used to develop immunotherapies that can be used for any patient.
Using cord blood is still new; however, research is showing exciting and hopeful results that suggest cord blood can be an effective tool in treating cancer. Still, a lot of research has to be done to fully understand the applications of cord blood in immunotherapy for cancer treatment. Donating your cord blood will help advance these studies and help us get to an answer for how to effectively beat cancer. Healthbanks.us will help you explore your options to donate and help save lives.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD