COIMBATORE:The Director of Medical Education will submit a proposal to the State government by next week to start cord blood banks in all the medical colleges in Tamil Nadu to make stem cell therapy affordable to the poor.
As an initial step, the proposal might suggest setting up a cord blood bank at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai on an experimental basis and expand it to other medical colleges in a phased manner. “We will submit the proposal most probably by Wednesday to the government. It is a revolutionary step and in accordance with the government decision and soon cord blood banks and stem therapy will become a reality in all medical college hospitals,” said Dr S Geetha Lakshmi, the Director of Medical Education (DME).
Stem cell therapy is used in the treatment of several genetic diseases, cancers and blood disorders, including thalassemia and all sorts of blood cancer. Blood harvested from the umbilical cord during delivery is a rich source of stem cell and if preserved in cord blood banks, it can be used in future for effective curing of various diseases. Stem cells taken from the blood are injected into damaged tissue to treat disease or injury.
“Diseases like thalassemia and all blood-related diseases can be cured effectively with stem cell therapy and even autism can be cured 80 per cent through this method. This emerging treatment has been gaining momentum in a developing country like India and in the imminent future stem cell therapy will become a best treatment option for many diseases,” said said Anoop S, one of the representatives of Cryobanks International India Private Limited, a private organization promotes stem cell therapy.
At present, there are only two cord blood banks in private sector in south India, one in Bangalore and the other in Chennai. “Both these banks preserve cord blood samples collected from across the country. We charge Rs 45,000 for preserving samples and provide them for treatment at any point of time,” added Anoop.
One session of stem cell therapy needs Rs 2 lakh and for a common man stem cell therapy and preserving stem cells in cord blood bank is unaffordable.