Tag Archive | "cord blood"

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Cord Blood Treatment For Cerebral Palsy

A story about a young girl with cerebral palsy in Colorado, who was treated with stem cell from her own cord blood, has been making headlines lately – with good reason. The treatments were successful.

Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, a professor of pediatrics and pathology at Duke University, was conducting a study where children with cerebral palsy were injected with their own cord blood cells.

In May of 2008, at the age of 2, Chloe Levine received a 15-minute re-infusion of her stem cells. “The doctor is really cautious about what she tells patients,” Chloe’s mom, Jenny Levine said. “She didn’t have a whole lot of results coming in. The best case scenario, we’d see signs of improvement in six months to a year.”

Dr. Charles Cox, from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School, said if the parents do not choose to save the cord blood, it is considered medical waste and thrown away.

“Really, the issue of cord blood banking today comes down to trying to understand what the future holds in terms of regenerative medicine as a field,” Cox said. “So, the long-term look is, and even the intermediate-term look is that it’s not science-fiction. I see it expanding and accelerating over the next two to five years.”
Within four days, her parents saw a noticeable difference, although Kurtzberg said most kids show benefits three to nine months later.

The rigidity on Chloe’s right side loosened up and her speech started to improve. She was able to ride her toy tractor, which in the past had been too difficult for her to pedal.

“Her life is completely normal, she doesn’t drag her right foot, she can use her right hand,” Jenny Levine said. “She rides a bike, a scooter…we’re taking her skiing this year. She’s fabulous.”

At this time, Kurtzberg said she does not know how long the effects of cord blood will last on kids like Chloe, but if there is a good chance it will be “durable and last indefinitely.” This is essential, since most babies have enough cells for only one infusion.

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CordLife Looks to India as a Stem Cell Market

In Kolkata, a top official said that one of the leading stem cell banking groups in the Asia Pacific region, CordLife, is targeting an expansion of its business into China and India.

“We’re looking at India and China as two big markets in terms of our stem cell business in the Asia Pacific region – keeping in mind the huge birth rate in these two countries,”  Steven Fang announced and told IANS on Wednesday during a press conference.  Steven Fang is CordLife group’s chief executive.

“We’re presently in talks with a large number of big government and private hospitals across India to tie up with them for stem cell therapy treatment.”

He mentioned that the company was growing at a rate of 70 percent in terms of its actual client base, and also registered 30 percent growth in its net profit last year.

“Once this stem cell therapy gets commercialized in this country, we’re sure there would be more growth in this particular healthcare sector,” says Fang.

CordLife operates Asia’s largest network of strictly private cord blood banks with full processing and specialized storage facilities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and India.  It has a strong presence throughout the Asia Pacific region as a whole.

The company set up its first storage facility in Kolkata early this year and they have a present capacity of storing about 40k cord blood units with a potential to store as many as 150k cord blood units.

“The total size of India’s stem cell preservation market is about 15,000 units per annum and it’s growing at a rapid pace.  The growth rate has been approximately 42-50 percent per year,” said CordLife managing director Meghnath Roy Chowdhury.

Cord blood has become a very common source of stem cells to be used for transplants.  Permanent cures are possible for some diseases using stem cell therapies.

According to doctors, stem cell therapy can be used for treating various diseases such as heart ailments, diabetes, skin trauma,  and certain cancers like leukemia and breast cancer, and blood disorders like thalassemia major.

Umbilical cord blood, which is also called “placental blood”, is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta following a childbirth and after the cord is cut. Cord blood is usually discarded with the placenta and umbilical cord. 

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Midland Memorial Hospital Collects Baby’s Umbilical Cord Blood

MIDLAND – Midland Memorial Hospital is now collecting new born baby’s umbilical cord blood.

The Hospital says that umbilical cord blood has a plethora of cells that make blood which can be used to treat such illnesses as leukemia and lymphoma as an alternative to waiting for a bone marrow transplant, which could take years or never come at all.

Midland Memorial Hospital is now the 12th to join the Texas Cord Blood Bank, which collects and stores cord blood.

The great thing about storing blood through the hospital is that its completely free to donate your baby’s stem cells where other storage facilities charge a lot of money to extract and store the cord blood.

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Blood Cord Banks: Understanding Cord Blood Stem Cells

There has been plenty of news coverage and controversy about the excellent impacts that current research on cord blood stem cells is having on the the possibility of cures for a number of terminal diseases. Why are stem cells important? Stem cells have a great level of plasticity which means they can generate and regenerate into many different types of cells and even organs inside our bodies. Potentially, if they can be removed from the donor and transfused into the patient then in the future, stem cells could be used to cure virtually any illness.

Stem cells are more frequently found in babies or even in embryos although it has been discovered that adult stem cells do exist. These adult stem cells have been found in the brain but are dispersed freely amongst millions of other cells making the extraction of adult stem cells very difficult.

However, cord blood stem cells are simple to remove. The process is undertaken after the baby has been born and the umbilical cord cut so there is no effect on the baby or the mother.

Currently, leukemia and anemia are the two most common diseases treated with stem cell transfusions. Because of the increasing level of stem cell research, diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and many different forms of cancer are also showing positive results.

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Give the Gift of Life for Mother’s Day

Do you know someone who might be expecting a baby?  Here’s an idea… Pass on buying flowers this mother’s day.  Instead, give the gift of life by providing a way to save a child’s life by banking their stem cells located in the umbilical cord blood in an umblical cord blood bank.

Why is this gift so special? Stem cells from the umbilical cord blood are known to treat over 80 diseases.  They have now been used in over 10,000 transplants worldwide and research is continually expanding.  Who knows what medical miracles these stem cells could help achieve in the future!

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Cord Blood Controversy – Choosing Private or Public Storage

Cord blood which was considered a waste at one point of time, is now looked as a life-saving entity by many. Many parents decide to preserve cord blood, which is rich in stem cells, and is used to treat more than seventy different diseases such as leukemia, sickle-cell anemia, lymphoma, thalassemia, neuroblastoma, genetic diseases, and immune deficiencies.

Controversy has risen in the recent years as to whether donors should go for public cord blood banks or the private ones. There are several factors which contribute to these sentiments. Some physicians do not recommend donors choose private banks because many of these banks are not standardized.  The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) points the fact that private cord blood banks are beneficial only for those parents whose relative needs a current transplant, but benefit no one else. Private storage is recommended for a family that has a medical history of metabolic disorder. Alternatively the AAP suggests that parents donate to public cord blood banks where cord blood can be made available to many people for treating various diseases. One of the primary reasons for such recommendations is that around ten thousand people are diagnosed with diseases each year and only public cord blood banks provide cord blood globally to any patient who need be treated with cell transplant. Private cord blood banks will provide cord blood only to donors (for their use or their families) who store cord blood for a fee.

Another major reason for physicians not encouraging private cord blood banks is because of the marketing and advertising strategies used by some of these banks. The private banks target every expectant couple and convince them that they are potentially providing a life saving opportunity to their families. This sort of emotional reasoning has worked in many parents to go in for private banks which stores cord blood exclusively for the donor’s use. Even doctors who are convinced by the stem- cell advances encourage parents (who can afford to pay that money) to opt for private banks so that cord blood can be used to save their child’s future or another family member. But there is no correct numbers to quote about the risk of a child needing stem- cell in the future. The APC and ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) studies reveal that numbers would fall anywhere between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 200000, whereas some the private banks have advertised numbers as low as 1 in 2700.

As private cord blood banking is expensive, parents should research which one is best suited for their family’s needs. Some things they should check before going with private cord blood banks are whether the bank is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, the number of cord blood units it stores, and the number of successful transplants it has conducted with the stored samples and the way it is stored (whether in single unit or small units).

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Umbilical Cord Blood Harvesting

It is a prerequisite to create awareness about the procedure of cord blood harvesting to the parents while promoting the advantages of the umbilical cord blood. Many parents fear that cord blood collection might harm the child or the mother. But the truth is the collection of cord blood does not harm the mother or the child in any way and it is painless for the mother. The procedure of collecting the cord blood is called umbilical cord blood harvesting.

The cord blood is collected soon after the child birth once the umbilical cord is cut separating the child from the mother. The cord blood is collected from placenta through the umbilical cord before the delivery of the placenta. 97% of the blood is collected from the placenta whereas only 3% of the blood is collected from the umbilical cord. That is why it is sometimes referred as placental blood. The cord blood harvesting has to be performed quickly as there are high chances of blood getting clotted.

The procedure of harvesting cord blood has to be done by an expert obstetrician or by trained specialist who can perform them in a safe and correct manner. This is due to the fact that there are possibilities of contamination of blood during the procedure. Since the umbilical cord is wound up in birth canals there are high chances bacteria being present there which can contaminate the cord blood. Also any contact with unsterile equipment during the process of harvesting can prove unsafe.

Usually the cord blood is collected in a sterile syringe or a harvest bag. The only disadvantage of collecting them through a syringe is that amount of the blood drawn will be minimal, though it is cost effective and easy to perform. On an average the amount of blood drawn from the placenta is 90ml. But harvesting a larger amount of blood will contribute to preserving a larger amount of stem cells. So it is best to harvest cord blood in the special harvest bag. Whether the cord blood is harvested through the usage of syringe or harvest bag, care has to be taken to make sure that the cord blood is sterile.

Many parents wonder if the cord blood harvesting procedure is safe during high-risk delivery such as diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Cord blood harvesting is safe for not only high-risk delivery but also for unprepared delivery such as premature delivery or C- section or post-term delivery. It is not recommended only in case of HIV infected mothers or those carrying Hepatitis B or C. But in cases where there are multiple complications in delivery, it is left to the judgment and decision of the obstetrician whether to go ahead with cord blood harvesting as there has to be availability of proper time frame to handle such cases.

What is more important is the critical nature of cord blood harvesting. The challenge in conducting a high quality harvesting rests in the fact that a sterile cord blood is collected with the possibility of maximal amount.

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Umbilical Cord Blood

During the earlier days before 1970’s or 1980’s preserving the umbilical cord after delivery was not considered an important aspect. But researchers have found that the umbilical cord which connects the baby and the mother is rich in stem cells that can fight deadly diseases like Leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and genetic diseases such as aplastic anemia, sickle-cell anemia and Fanconi anemia.

The recent propagation in the medical field especially in maternity homes and hospitals today is the preservation of the Umbilical Cord Blood. The Umbilical Cord is the life line between the mother and the fetus till the time of delivery as it supplies the necessary nutrients and oxygen to the baby. But after delivery the placenta and the umbilical cord is usually discarded – not until the major medical breakthrough happened in the Umbilical Cord Blood discovery.

The Umbilical Cord Blood has the same kind of blood formatting stem cells called the hematopoietic stem cells which a bone marrow donor might have. With the successful researches in stem cell transplantation, storing of the Umbilical Cord Blood is seen as an essential substance in the medical field.

The procedure in storing the Umbilical Cord Blood does not affect the donor in any way as it does not hinder the delivery process. The preservation of the Umbilical Cord Blood is not only helpful in saving the lives of those suffering from deadly diseases like Cancer, but also useful for the donor’s children or close relatives in treating any future deadly diseases especially when there is a strong family medical history of such disease.

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Cord Blood Donation

Your baby may be able to save someone’s life just by being born. When you give birth, you have three options for what to do with the placenta and umbilical cord blood:

* Trash it. This is what usually happens. What a waste.
* Store it for possible use by you, your child or a member of your family.
* Donate it for public storage so that it can be used for research or to treat or save the life of an unrelated person.

Cord blood contains hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, “Each year thousands of patients are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases that can be treated by rebuilding the patient’s hematopoietic (blood cell producing) system with blood-forming cells. Umbilical cord blood is being studied as one of the sources of blood cells.” So why throw cord blood away when it can be put to good use treating life-threating disease? Consider,

• Donating cord blood is medically safe. The cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord after your baby is born.
• Donation does not change the birth process.
• Donating cord blood is free to you and completely confidential.

Here’s how to get started:

–> Learn more about cord blood donation. The NMDP has tons of information including a FAQ, eligibility guidelines, participating cord blood banks and hospitals and more.

–> Register to donate between your 28th and 35th week of pregnancy.

Some expectant families may be considering storage for private use.  We have a quiz that can help you make the choice between private storage and public storage (donation).

Think about it. Talk about it with your partner. Pray about it. And consider what a blessing your child’s birth can be to some other mother’s child. Regardless of your decision, remember that there are many ways you can donate life.

Learn about cord blood harvesting >>

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How much do you know about donating umbilical cord blood?

1. How many diseases are currently being treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood?

A. 10
B. 20
C. 30
D. 40

2. My child’s umbilical cord blood can potentially be used to treat:

A. My Child
B. My Child’s Siblings
C. Myself
D. All of the above

3. Current research on future stem cell applications includes:

A. Heart Disease and Stroke
B. Spinal Cord Injury
C. Diabetes
D. All of the above

4. Which of the following statements is/are true?

A. The survival rate is higher when stem cells are transplanted from a relative.
B. There is an increased chance of a match between your child’s cord blood and a sibling.
C. Your child’s stem cells can also be used for other family members.
D. All of the above

5. Why is cord blood valuable?

A. Because it contains red blood cells
B. Because it contains stem cells
C. Because it contains white blood cells
D. Because it contains platelets

6. Umbilical cord blood is collected:

A. During pregnancy
B. During birth
C. Immediately after your child is born and the cord is cut
D. 5 days after your child is born

7. Cord blood is collected from:

A. The umbilical cord
B. The umbilical cord and placenta
C. The umbilical cord and uterus
D. The umbilical cord and navel

8. Cord blood stem cells have the ability to regenerate:

A. Red Blood Cells
B. White Blood Cells
C. Platelets
D. All of the above

9. How long can your child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells be saved for?

A. Over 15 years
B. 10 years
C. 5 years
D. 1 year

10. Benefits of donating umbilical cord blood compared to bone marrow include:

A. Proliferates faster
B. Generates a wider variety of tissue types
C. Minimizes the risk of Graft versus Host Disease
D. All of the above


1. D

Stem cells are involved in the curing of over 40 different life threatening diseases and illnesses. The ongoing research and development in stem cell research are leading to a direction where the applications of stem cells will continue to grow and expand rapidly to include many of the currently untreatable, but horribly devastating diseases and illnesses. Banking and donating your child’s cord blood now will help ensure that your family has this potential life-saving resource at your fingertips whenever you may need it.

2. D

Your child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells are a distinct match to your child, so any time your child needs them they will be available for immediate use. This eliminates the need for searching to find a matching donor and no chance of rejection or tissue incompatibility. Furthermore, by donating your child’s umbilical cord blood it can also be used for siblings and other members of your family who have matching tissue. Siblings have up to a 50% chance of compatibility, which is great odds.

3. D

There is fast development in the field of stem cell research. Stem cell research offers hope for many untreatable degenerative illnesses and diseases, including the repair of hair tissue or brain tissue to treat heart disease and strokes, spinal cord injury, arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and others. Cord blood banking, or donation of umbilical cord blood, allows your child to take full advantage of future emerging treatments as they become readily available.

4. D

Once banked, your child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells can provide insurance for your entire family, biologically. Since umbilical cord blood stem cells are at a more primitive stage than bone marrow, doctors are able to generate a wider variety of tissue types. Therefore, they regenerate faster and there is a decreased risk of rejection by the body and deadly complications such as Graft-versus-Host illness.

5. B

Umbilical Cord blood is valuable because it contains powerful things called haematopoeitic stem cells. Stem cells are referred to as “miracle cells” because they are master cells which have the unique ability to regenerate and replenish any cell in the blood. Cord blood stem cells are a proven alternative to bone marrow and can be used to treat illnesses.

6. C

Umbilical Cord blood is collected right away after your child is born and the umbilical cord is cut. Umbilical cord blood collection takes your doctor only a few minutes to perform and is 100% safe. It does not affect the childbirth experience in any way.

7. B

Umbilical Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after the child is born and the umbilical cord is cut. The umbilical cord blood is normally discarded after birth. By choosing to save your child’s cord blood, you are offering your child a distinct health advantage for the future years of its’ life.

8. D

Umbilical Cord blood stem cells can regenerate in any cell in blood, including oxygen carrying red blood cells, infection fighting white blood cells, which play a crucial role in the body’s immune system (ability to fight disease), and platelets, which help to clot blood during cuts and bruises.

9. D

Studies have shown that cryogenically frozen stem cells hold their viability following fifteen years of storage. Extrapolation based upon a half-life mode suggests that stem cells can be cryo-preserved for the lifespan of a patient.

10. D

Your child’s own umbilical cord blood stem cells are a perfect match to your child, so any time your child needs them, they are available for immediate use and can save a life. There is no need to search for a matching donor and there is no chance of rejection or tissue incompatibility. Therefore, there is a reduced risk of infection and rejection. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are able to proliferate faster and generate a wider variety of tissue types!

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