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Banking Cord Blood: More than A Parent’s Responsibility?

Stem cells are the building blocks of your immune system. They are the type of cells that create new growth and development. If you are sick and your doctor recommends you to undergo stem cell transplant, you can only harvest it if you have a donor.

Stem cells in cord blood are as effective as the cells found in bone marrow. After years of investigation, doctors think cord blood stem cells might cure cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy and type-1 diabetes.

“Do you really need to preserve your cord blood?”

This is the big question a lot of parents ask themselves. If you ask me, this is the type of question that requires decisive planning and thorough research. It’s not enough to answer it with a yes or a no because you can end up regretting your decision.

It’s true that storing cord blood is having a health insurance. You don’t know when you need it but you surely need it if your five-year-old child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The question to ask yourself is: “How willing are you to bank cord blood for your child?”

American Academy of Pediatrics released an official statement and to them, there are no accurate estimates that your child needs his own stored cells. Perhaps, only one or ten children out of 1,000 will need their cord blood. Truth is – autologous (self) cord blood transplantation shows no effective effectiveness for the treatment of malignant neoplasms (abnormal growth of body tissue).

Banking a cord blood can be possible if you have the budget.

In this time of economic crisis, you must know how to prioritize your needs before your wants. Ask yourself “Is storing your newborn’s cord blood a need or a want?” If it’s your need, will you spend money to meet this need?

The cost of storing cord blood is expensive. The first year fees range from $600 to $1,840 depending on which family bank you choose and which payment plan goes well with your budget. Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is the largest and the most experienced stem cell bank in the world and its one-time payment for the first year is $2,195. Choose their monthly plan and you need to pay $61. You are also given the option to store both cord blood and cord tissue but the total first year fee amounts to $2,915.

For some, it’s not a big deal to spend $61 per month to assure the well being of your child yet, it can’t be denied banking cord is still your personal decision based on what you earned.

Scarcity in Public Cord Blood Banks

Donating cord blood for public use is similar to giving blood. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s about making a difference and it’s also recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). However, most public cord blood banks are facing scarcity due to lack of supply.

Lack of awareness is the number one reason why couples don’t donate cord blood. They are not properly informed that the umbilical cord contains stem cells and it can save a life of an ailing child. If these couples are given the right information they need to understand, they will not be hesitant to make a donation.

Second reason for scarcity is that donating cord blood is not also offered at every hospital in the country. Only 200 hospitals are affiliated with a public cord blood bank. This number is currently not enough to constantly supply the need for stem cells. Cancer and other malignant diseases occur randonly and it spares no socioeconomic class or geographic region. In fact, on an average count, 1 in every 4 elementary school has a child with cancer (Childhood Cancer Facts, 1999-2002).

Public cord blood banks receive inadequate funding is the third reason. The procedures for storing a single unit is expensive. It costs around $1500 and most of the public banks have no enough budget to consistently collect, test, freeze and store hundreds of units.

That’s why; the Congress passed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 to give value to cord blood donation. The act was reauthorized in 2010 and it created the National Cord Blood Inventory. Its goal is to increase the number of donated cord blood units from people of different race and ethnic background.

Additional funding is also approved in an attempt to increase the availability of cord blood units in registry. With this increase in support, it’s expected that those thousands of children and adults can easily undergo a transplant right after they find a match.

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It’s confirmed cord blood stem cells can cure malignant diseases such as cancers (Acute Leukemia, Chronic Leukemia, Hodgkin & Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Myelodysplastic Syndrome), blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, brain injury. cerebral palsy, type-1 diabetes and hearing loss. To donate cord blood in public banks, use BloodBanker – The largest online directory of blood, plasma and cord banks!

Misconceptions about Cord Blood

There are three common misconceptions about cord blood. The collection of cord takes important blood components away from the baby and mother is the first. This belief remains untrue for the reason that the harvesting procedure of cord blood is easy, painless and guaranteed safe for the mother and her newborn. The umbilical cord is only clamp moments after the baby is delivered. A syringe will be used to get the stem cells inside the umbilical cord. The cord blood stem cells are then stored in a special-made collection bag. This entire collection procedure can either be performed after a vaginal or C-section birth.

A family with no cancer history doesn’t need to store a cord blood is the second misconception. A family history is not a reliable indicator of hereditary disease. The causes of various cancers such as leukemia remain unknown, therefore, the disease can occur without waning. That’s why; storing cord cord is an option every couple can consider. The stem cells in cord has been used to treat life-threatening diseases by way of transplant. The stem cells have the ability to repair damaged tissues and organs.

The cord blood might be useless for a long-term storage is the third misconception. Should a couple gives a go signal to bank a cord blood, the registry assures it is stored in safe facility and will remain useful indefinitely. The couple can anytime reclaim the unit whenever a family member is terribly sick.

Delayed Cord Blood Clamping: Is it beneficial?

It’s confirmed that the umbilical cord of a newborn is filled with stem cells that cures malignant diseases such as cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, brain injury. cerebral palsy, type-1 diabetes and hearing loss. The question that left to the mind of various medical experts is: When is the right time to clamp the cord?

Paul Sanberg, MD is the director of University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair and this is what he wrote in his research.

“Several clinical studies have shown that delaying clamping the umbilical cord not only allows more blood to be transferred but helps prevent anemia as well. Cord blood also contains many valuable stem cells, making this transfer of stem cells a process that might be considered ‘the original stem cell transplant’.”

Dr. Dong-Hyuk Park, co-author of Sanders, pointed out the significant relationship between the time of cord clamping and the transfer of stem cells. Park stated the blood cells are starting to form as early as the mother is declared two-week-pregnant.

“Several randomized, controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have compared the effects of late versus early cord clamping. In pre-term infants, delaying clamping the cord for at least 30 seconds reduced incidences of intraventricular hemorrhage, late on-set sepsis, anemia, and decreased the need for blood transfusions.”

As one of the researchers of the study lead by Sanders, Stephen Klasko, MD said.“There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection. The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.”

Klasko is an obstetrician, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of USF College of Medicine.

Conclusions were made by these researchers and they all agreed the clamping procedure should be delayed to benefit the newborn’s health needs and there will be no visible problem once the cord is stored.

Source: Science Daily

One Coin, One Cord Blood, Saves A Life

United Kingdom – The Inner Wheel Club is one of the largest clubs in the world with a membership base of 100,000 women and grandmothers. The club began in January 1924 with an aim to create friends and to raise funds for international, national and local charities.

Carol Kelley stands as the club president this year and her group wishes to educate the public about the benefits of cord blood donation and raise money for the event “Coin for a Cord Day,” which will be held on May 9.

In order to raise money, various personal items (pens, pins, etc.) are to be sold on the fifth of May at Cherrybrook Shopping Village and at Penant Hills Railway Station on the sixth.

All money will go to research institutions to conduct more scientific researches about cord blood donation.

Cord blood contains stem cells that when used in transplant, it can cure malignant diseases such as cancers (Acute Leukemia, Chronic Leukemia, Hodgkin & Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Myelodysplastic Syndrome), blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, brain injury. cerebral palsy, type-1 diabetes and hearing loss. To search for cord blood banks, simply scan this directory – BloodBanker

Development of Harvesting Cord Blood Stem Cells

Phil Coelho is not a new person in the business world anymore. As the president and founder of SynGen Inc. five years ago (a company that regenerates cures by the use of innovative engineering), he proudly announced that the company received $5 million from a venture capital firm (Bay City Capital, LLC) in San Francisco to support the harvesting phase of cord blood stem cells.

The immediate goal of SynGen is to spread the availability of SynGen-1000  to cord blood banks. SynGen-1000 is a type of device used for the separation and storage of cord blood stem cells after it’s harvest from a newborn.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bay City Capital to maximize SynGen’s potential. Their expansive knowledge of the global life science field and vast networking capability combined with a strong reputation as a top tier venture capital firm made our decision easy. During the due diligence process, BCC had already begun facilitating business relationships important for our accelerated growth and market expansion.”

The proceedings for the approval process through Food & Drug Administration is still on-going.

“We expect to file for 510(k) clearance with the FDA and to achieve CE marking for the SynGen-1000 in the near future.  Subsequently, our advanced designs target emerging markets including stem cell research centers, hospitals practicing cell therapy in surgical suites and stem cell clinical trials.”

Dr. William Garber is an investment partner at Bay City Capital (BCC) said, “”We expect SynGen’s products will play a significant role in enabling clinical research and expanding the medical applications of regenerative medicine. Phil Coelho is an established innovator in the field of cord blood stem cell isolation and purification, and we are excited about expanding SynGen’s product line to address novel applications for adult stem cell therapies.”

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It’s confirmed cord blood stem cells can cure malignant diseases such as cancers (Acute Leukemia, Chronic Leukemia, Hodgkin & Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Myelodysplastic Syndrome), blood disorders, immune disorders, metabolic disorders, brain injury. cerebral palsy, type-1 diabetes and hearing loss. To search for cord blood banks, use BloodBanker – The largest online directory of blood, plasma and cord banks!

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Cord Blood Symposium in New York

April 12, 2012 – A long day symposium entitled “Second Milstein Symposium: Perspective in Cord Blood Biology and Clinical Applications” was organized by New York Blood Center (NYBC) at NYBC Murray Sargent Auditorium. The event was attended by more than two-hundred doctors, scientists and other experts in the medical community.

The symposium’s opening reception took place on the ninth of April 2012 and it was hosted by NYBC Chairman Howard P. Miltein along with Christopher D. Hillyer, MD – who plays the role of a president and CEO of NYBC.

“In addition to housing the world’s longest standing and largest cord blood bank, NYBC is now home to the only cord blood bank worldwide with products that are FDA-approved for human transplantation. That is an extraordinary achievement. This symposium is a testament to the remarkable progress that has culminated with FDA approval of HEMACORD(TM).” Dr. Miltein said.

HEMACORD(TM) is a type of hematopoietic and cellular therapy product approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which cures blood forming disorders. The product is manufactured by Milstein’s team in National Cord Blood Center.

Dr. Hillyer acknowledged the 1989 NYBC Program Director – Dr. Pablo Rubinstein. Rubinstein did not only come up with the original concept of banking cord blood but he was also the world’s first founder of public cord blood program.

“Working with Dr. Rubinstein has been an unprecedented honor. He, like Howard Milstein, is an unparalleled intellect and visionary with extraordinary perseverance, and combines scientific genius with common sense. These have allowed a research project to become a licensed product – truly a ‘bench to bedside success’ – which is quite rare.”

House Bill 2421: Oklahama Needs Cord Blood Bank

It’s time for the state of Oklahoma to have its own cord blood bank. Representative John Enns proposes a bill (House Bill 2421) that calls for a $5 additional charge on birth certificate. The current cost of obtaining a birth certificate in the state is $15. The added charge is used to build their own cord blood bank for the purpose that every person who is in need of treatment will no longer wait for the arrival of his cord blood match.

“You have got to understand that $5 extra charge will be sunsetted in five years — it will go away. Within those years, the (money collected) will allow us to set up a cord blood bank, and afterward, it will be self-sustaining.” Enns said, who also help in creating Oklahoma Adult Stem Cell Research Center.

The use of stem cells in umbilical cord, as confirmed by US Department of Health and Human Services, is the best possible treatment for life threatening diseases like leukemia, lymphoma and genetic disorders. The cord blood transplantation is known for its ability to restore damaged blood cells.

Searching for cord blood banks? Use BloodBanker – The largest online directory of blood, plasma and cord banks!

Newborn Possibilities Program: How to Qualify?

Cord Blood Registry, the world’s largest stem cell bank located at San Bruno California, introduces its newest program that encourages more couples to bank with them. The program is called Newborn Possibilities Program. This type of program does not only provide treatment option for family members with malignant diseases. It also aims to enroll children in clinical trials in which their own stem cells are used to give cure to their condition.

That means if your son or daughter is diagnosed with any life-threatening diseases such as brain injury or cerebral palsy, there is a chance for them to recover without paying a dime for their surgery. However, this program is only open for limited families. Only those families with sick member can join. Parents are also allowed to join the program once their baby is prenatally diagnosed with illness that requires stem cell transplant.

Since the inception of the program, Cord Blood Registry stored more than four hundred thousand units while its 3,000 associated physicians are expected to collect a specific number of units too.

Searching for a cord blood bank? Use BloodBanker – The largest blood, plasma and cord blood directory online!

Real Worth of Storing Cord Blood

Where can you store cord blood?

The cord blood bank based on Tampa, Florida is one of the earliest and leading supplier of umbilical cord blood in the USA, which is highly accredited by American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). Anyone can always get in touch with CyroCell by searching it online and review their quotes and other payment plans. The annual payment starts from $75 and can be as high as $200.

Is cord blood a cure?

Yes. The cord blood of a newborn is filled with rich stem cells. These cells can be found in cuboid bone marrow and in all cellular matrix in the blood. The stems cells in cord blood are considered hematopoietic, which means it reproduce white and red blood cells and platelets. Numerous research say the cord blood is a cure to some forms of cancer, heart stroke and heart failure.

In what way does a cord blood helps?

In a press release posted last February 16, 2012, Samer Fakhri, MD, a surgeon in Memorial Hermann Medical Center in Texas, is joined by James Baumgartner, MD for an experimental investigation that focuses on cord blood stem cells as a treatment to acquired hearing loss in children. The investigation is in its first phase only but it promises fruitful results. Baumgartner, the sponsor, is staying positive that restoration of hearing in children can be possible with the use of this breakthrough.