Tag Archive | "stem cells"

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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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Human Stem Cells With Lower Risk Of Cancer

A pharmaceutical research company based in Japan, Dnavec Corp. has created a new method of designing human stem cells with a significantly lower risk of cancer. Dnavec has successfully created human induced pluripotent stem cells using a virus that won’t change the cells’ DNA. As a consequence of this, there are lowered odds the cells could turn cancerous.

One of the more significant obstacles of using reprogrammed human stem cells is the high probability that they could become cancerous. At this time, the most prevalent and focussed on area in stem cell biology is that of induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which have the ability to develop into several different tissue types.

The scientists working on the project highlighted some of the major safety concerns with the previous studies of induced pluripotent stem cells.

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Stem Cell Treatment Heals Heart Attack Victim

Stem cells were used to treat and heal Eddie Floyd after he suffered an almost life-threatening heart attack. Mr. Floyd, who had suffered a heart attack a couple of years previously, was brought into to the hospital and asked if he wanted to participate in a stem cell research clinical trial using adult stem cells to help fix his heart muscle. Mr. Floyd agreed to participate in the stem cell trial and was thrilled with the results.  The stem cell therapy not only healed his heart muscle completely, but there is also no sign of damage or any complications visible from the heart attack that almost took his life.

This is just one example of how stem cell therapy can be used to treat a variety of life-threatening conditions, including heart disease.

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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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AMD Stem Cell Treatment

Stem cell research looks to cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD), increasing the pharmaceutical industry’s growing confidence in the medical potential of stem cells.

The prospect of using embryonic stem cells to treat the most common cause of blindness in humans has moved closer after a major investment was made into research from the world’s largest drug company, Pfizer.

This is HUGE is the world of stem cells and their potential for curing so many terminal illnesses.

This injection of private funding will help the research team to turn its scientific discoveries into a medical therapy for AMD.  It affects more than 500,000 people in Britain and is the number one common cause of blindness.

The UCL group, led by Professor Pete Coffey, has used embryonic stem cells to grow eye tissue that was destroyed in AMD and has transplanted it into animal eyes to reverse eye damage from the disease.

Professor Coffey’s team intends to begin human patient trials in 2010 or 2011 and will receive funding support from Pfizer. The company will also provide the facilities for producing therapeutic cells to treat people who are ready to have this form of surgery.

Pfizer will have an exclusive option to conduct clinical trials of the therapy and to commercialize any product that emerges from them. This is where Pfizer plans to benefit from their investment.  Financial details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

How Stem Cells Work:

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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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Storing Umbilical Cord Blood Video

Choose to store your baby’s stem-cell rich umbilical cord blood…  This video shows you how its done.

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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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Importance of Umbilical Cord Blood Donation

In the recent years preserving the umbilical cord blood has become an event of great significance. Doctors and scientists are encouraging parents to store or donate the umbilical cord blood. Until recently, the umbilical cord miracle was not much known to the general populace.

The umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells. The umbilical cord blood can save the lives of millions of people who suffer from dreaded disease such as Cancer, Aplastic anemia, Fanconi anemia and Sickle-cell anemia, just to name a few. People suffering from live threatening diseases like lymphoma, leukemia and anemia can save their precious lives by undergoing stem cell transplantation. This is especially useful for people suffering from leukemia who go through the tough process of chemotherapy and radiation.

There are specialized cord blood banks to collect and preserve umbilical cord blood. The blood is collected from a new-born baby’s cord and stored in these cord banks. Parent donor’s are required to plan to make necessary arrangements with these banks to collect the umbilical cord blood.

It is not only a joy to give birth to a baby but also a great deed to give life by donating umbilical cord blood to those suffering from life threatening diseases.

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