Stem Cells

What are the stem cells?

Stem cells

Are the “parental cells” (undifferentiated/immature) which have not yet been through regeneration process and transformation into specialized cells from which the different human tissues and thus organs are created.

They remain undifferentiated/immature until a stimulus to intervene and help them to develop into specialized cells, in order to fulfill a particular function (become tissue or organ cells). They can be renewed and multiplied for long periods. They also have the potential to differentiate and to develop into cells with specific functions such as those of heart, lung, skin, etc.

Stem cells renew our blood, skin, bone marrow and immunity system. Lastly, it is noteworthy that these cells are found, in high concentrations, in the umbilical cord and after birth they continue to multiply.


Sources of stem cells are:

  • The embryo (in the blastocyst stage),
  • Umbilical cord blood (hematopoietic stem cells),
  • Umbilical cord tissue (Mesenchymal stem cells),
  • Various adult tissues (especially bone marrow, adipose tissue, etc).


Stem cells have the extraordinary ability to create new tissues when they divide and develop. This ability, makes them unique and much important and shows great therapeutic potential for disorders of all organs.

Why preserve stem cells?

Stem cells of the umbilical cord, represent a very important alternative for blood transplantations for genetic and oncologic diseases and differ from the rest cells of the body. Their usefulness has been proved after numerous studies, made by scientists all over the world.


The main reasons why to preserve stem cells are the following:

  1. Are the newer, stronger and with the less chances to be afflicted by specialized immunological diseases, cells. They are the healthiest cells of the human body in which we have easy access and are especially useful in solving persistent malfunctions and serious injuries.
  2. Stem cells have not yet been affected by the harmful effects of the environment and way of life and are fully equipped with the power of a unique and “invulnerable” body.
  3. They have the unique ability to focus on healing. Therefore, in case of an illness, hematopoietic stem cells know exactly where to act.
  4. They can be collected one and only time in every person’s life: the moment of his birth. The cryopreservation of these stem cells allows their preservation for a long period and for any possible future use.
  5. The harvesting process is easy and without any pain. Not in any way affect the natural process of childbirth and in relation to the collection of cells from the bone marrow, no invasive method is required.
  6. The child has this unique opportunity to use its own stem cells from blood and umbilical cord tissue if it is needed at some point in its life. The probability of this happening is 1/400. So you are able to protect the life of your child, taking advantage of a transplant fully compatible with it.
  7. Stem cells can be used not only for your own child, but also for parents and siblings, depending on the compatibility degree.
  8. Today, the stem cells from the umbilical blood and tissue may be useful to treat over 80 diseases.




Starting from 1988, the stem cells are used successfully for the treatment of various blood diseases, diseases of the immune system as well as in some forms of cancer. The number of diseases that can be treated by the use of stem cells exceeds 80.


Immune system disorders

“In diseases of the immune system when are threatening the patient’s life, stem cell transplantation can give to the patient the opportunity for full and definitive treatment” – International Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Leukemia: Over 2000 children are diagnosed with leukemia each year due to deficiencies of the immune system.

Multiple Myeloma: Worldwide, multiple myeloma affects approximately 1-5 people per 100,000 population per year and represents 0.8% of all cancer cases.

Sickle cell anemia: About 250,000 babies worldwide are born with a severe form of this disease.

 Lymphoma: Approximately 628 415 people are currently diagnosed with lymphoma or are in remission.

 Thalassemia: 5% of the world’s population is carrying a gene that causes thalassemia.


Autoimmune Diseases

Multiple sclerosis: is a degenerative, autoimmune disease caused by hyperfunction of the immune system and affect the central nervous system (CNS).

Crohn’s disease: Chronic inflammatory disease which can involve any portion of the gastrointestinal tract.

Lupus: Discoid or Systematic. Rheumatic disease and one of the most serious autoimmune diseases.

The use of stem cells for the treatment of autoimmune diseases appears to have the best and lasting therapeutic effects.



Stem cell therapies that are in clinical trial:

Diabetes: Every year more than 70,000 children develop type 1 diabetes, diseases about 200 per day.

Alzheimer: Now worldwide are diagnosed with Alzheimer disease more than 18 million patients. It is predicted that this number will double by 2025.

Parkinson: Between 7 and 10 million people worldwide are diagnosed with Parkinson.

Cerebral palsy: 10,000 infants and children each year are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury. There are currently over six million people who have been diagnosed with spinal cord injuries.

Stroke: According to the World Health Organization, each year approximately 15 million people are experiencing a stroke.

Muscular dystrophy: Genetic disorder that affects about 500-600 infants each year in the US (Statistics on muscular dystrophy). Gene therapy with bone marrow stem cells, tissue, cardiac muscle cells, cartilage tendons, adipose tissue and biopharmaceuticals is used.


Some additional diseases that can be cured are:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Chronic leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes 

Other diseases of the stem cell:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Congenital cytopenia
  • Congenital dyskeratosis
  • Fanconi anemia

Congenital diseases of the immunity system:

  • Absence of T or B lymphocytes
  • Absence only of Τ lymphocytes
  • Ataxia-teleangiectasia
  • Leukocyte adhesion deficiency etc.


The detailed list of the diseases that can be cured by stem cells is permanently growing.


Who can use your baby’s stem cells?

Your kid 100%, biological parents 0-50%, biological siblings 0-75%, close relatives 0-20%.

Blood Stem Cells

The hematopoietic stem cells are cells that generate other types of blood cells.


Sources of hematopoietic stem cells:

  • bone marrow in adults (femur and sternum)
  • umbilical cord blood (in very large number)
  • peripheral blood (in small number)

The hematopoietic stem cells are responsible for maintaining constant the immune protection of every type of cell of the body. The hematopoietic stem cells may renew and differentiate in various types of specialized cells, they may stimulate the bone marrow and they may act upon the cellular apoptosis. The umbilical cord blood is an important source of hematopoietic stem cells. The umbilical cord blood is the blood that circulates between the placenta and the umbilical cord during the pregnancy. This blood is rich in stem cells. The blood and tissue of the umbilical cord may be collected both during a natural birth, and during a C-section birth.

The opportunity to collect these cells occurs only once in life. The sampling process is painless and harmless, it starts after the fetus is expelled and after the umbilical cord is cut, therefore it has no harmful effect on the baby or on the mother.

Umblical Cord Βlood Τissue

The mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stem cells that may differentiate in a wide variety of cellular types. For this reason they can be used in regenerative medicine for the regeneration of tissues and organs.

Another important characteristic of the messenchymal stem cells is the possibility of proliferation of these cells, without them losing “plasticity” them.

The sources of these cells are:

  • the tissue of the umbilical cord
  • the umbilical cord blood
  • the body’s muscles
  • the amniotic fluid and
  • the baby teeth.

The Mesenchymal cells mainly located in the portion of the umbilical cord. The collection can be made from a small piece of cord 15-20 cm, immediately after childbirth. The cells are developed into specialized cells and with the help of medicine, in the future, we expect their use in even more areas of medicine.