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Cord Blood in US: Low Supply, Low Sales

Last week, a new report was released by Government Accountability Office (GAO) and it reveals the low national supply of umbilical cord blood in the country. In 2005 inventory the sales rose to 14% to more than 38% a year after. But in 2009 and 2010, the number of sales only grew 0.4%. There are nearly 135,000 units of cord blood available in the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) but only 1,200 were used for transplants.

These declining numbers might be alarming but those cord blood advocates hope and are still expecting to see a 30% increase of supply, especially from racial and ethnic groups, once they come up with new procedures in collecting cord blood.

One reason for this decline is the public cord blood banks are also in tight competition with private banks. Many couples prefer the option of private banking the cord blood until someone in their family needs and use it for no charge at all.

The establishment of remote collection program might give the cord blood collection a boost considering mothers can directly send their newborn’s umbilical cord to a bank even if they have no materials for collection at hand.

The program’s biggest problem as cited by Health Resources and Services Administration is there’s no guarantee that these circulated kits can also increase the amount of donation. There were 758 units collected as of March 2011, the number of units banked was only 68.

Other problems also start to resurface. There are cases of late arrivals, no enough amount of cord blood is collected and the required labels are missing. It’s also found out the collected samples don’t also meet the FDA requirement for licensure. Any unit of cord blood must be treated as FDA-regulated biologic as mandated by the new FDA regulations.

Cord Blood: The Miracle Cure

Have you watched the video above?

You might be wondering why the video is all about babies. You’re also yourself why the video is entitled “What is Cord Blood” instead of babies. If you’ll look at the bigger picture, babies have the ability to save a life. Their umbilical cord contain rich stem cells and when these stem cells are preserved in a nitrogen-filled freezing container, these stem cells can be retrieved whenever a person is malignantly sick and needs cure.

A cord blood is a type of adult stem cell and numerous doctors confirm its effectiveness to cure 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.

Pregnant moms can either donate or store cord blood. Each option has its own advantages and which option you’ll choose depends on what decision you are comfortable with.

Michael S. Williams wrote an eBook about cord blood and you can purchase it directly at Ebook.Gd Publishing for $4.99. Here, the author gives you the capsules of information you want to understand in six chapters.


In San Antonio Texas, Valentina DeLeon was a skinny baby at ten months. She was regularly vomiting and she had no appetite to eat.

Severe combined immunodefiency (SCID) – this is her doctor’s diagnosis and she was immediately ordered to undergo high-dose of chemotherapy. After the chemotherapy, she’s expected to receive cord blood transplant.

Luckily, a donated cord blood was a match. A cord blood contains stem cells and these can be used as a miracle tool to give cure to fatal diseases such as Cerebral Palsy and blood diseases.

The transplant went good and new cells start to grow and it gave her a stronger immune system. Exactly five months after the transplant (September 2011), anyone can instantly recognize the improvements in Valentina’s overall health.

She began to gain weight, weighing more than nine kilograms and her parents took her home. Her immune disorder was gone and every moment of her life must be treated as a celebration.

Financial Success in China Cord Blood Corporation

The China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC) is the first and the only cord blood banking operator in China. The bank is responsible for cord blood collection, hematopoietic processing of stem cell, laboratory testing and stem cell storage services.

CCBC releases its preliminary results for the fiscal year of 2012. These financial data remains unaudited and it ended on June 30, 2011. Its first quarter revenue is increased by 22% ($13. 5 Million). The bank’s Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer releases am official statement and she said,

“Our first quarter delivered strong financial performance driven by sustained growth in subscriber demand year-over-year following the upward price adjustment implemented in April 2011. Our strategy to develop a strong sales network while broadening our commercial reach has built a widely-recognized brand and an easily accessible network that will greatly facilitate our efforts to attract new subscribers.”

“In addition to solid financial performance, this quarter had several exciting developments. The Ministry of Health has issued new guidelines extending the ‘Ten Licenses Policy’, which reiterated that no more than ten licenses will be issued for the provision of cord blood banking services through 2015.”

“We welcome the policy extension as it sets a clear guideline for the industry and the general public. With access to three licenses and our 19.92% investment in Shandong Cord Blood Bank, we are fully committed to the development of the cord blood banking industry in China and will continue to grow by driving subscriber penetration rates…”

CCBC’s subscribers (more than 198,000) and new registrations (more than 12,000) have also moved up. The gross profit is increased by 24.1% or $10.5 Million and there’s also two percent increased in the gross margin (from 75.9% to 77.3%) from the prior year. Most importantly, its operating income goes up and it now clocks at 31.7%.

Cord Blood Donation: The Lifesaving Gift

Actual figures were released earlier last month by the National Marrow Donor Program “Be-The-Match-Registry” and it reveals acute shortage of donations from minorities. More than sixty percent of donated cord blood came from Caucasians and that’s less than half of 1% of cord blood units from Native Americans.

Only 7% of cord blood units belong to Black and Asian Americans. Those Hispanics also donate but its percentage is less than twenty percent. The Arizona Republic interviewed medical professionals about this issue and they just assumed one of the reasons why minority donations are scarce because they can’t afford the cost of private banking, which include monthly fee and annual storage fee.

This is the main reason why Arizona Biomedical Research Commission extended their hands to cover all those necessary expenses needed in cord blood donation. The state’s Federal Heath Resources Service Administration added funding for the said project amounting to $6.2 million for three to five years. The project is expected to collect 5,000 cord blood units.

This national and lifesaving project as funded by state lottery money just began this summer. In Phoenix Baptist alone the staffs collected roughly 25 units and its first unit came from a Hispanic mom. All units will be stored in Colorado National Bank.

The other two participating hospitals are St. Joseph’s Hospital and Maricopa Medical Center.

Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplant & Colitis Syndrome

It’s confirmed by Dr. Alex F. Herrera from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston that Diarrhea is an expected complication of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT). This syndrome is called colitis. It is defined as a constant diarrheal illness and it’s not cause d by acute graft-vs-host disease (GVHD).

A new study made by the hospital reveals there are cases of cord colitis syndrome and it occurred in eleven of one hundred four patients. These cases have been characterized in terms of clinical and pathological features. Its onset after transplantation is 131 days. Dr. Herrera is the author of September Issue of New England Journal of Medicine and he wrote,

“The cord colitis syndrome is clinically and histopathologically distinct from acute GVHD and other causes of diarrhea in patients who have undergone cord-blood HSCT and is relatively common in this patient population. The syndrome should be considered in such patients who have diarrhea that is not attributable to other causes.”

“The cord colitis syndrome responds to antibacterial therapy, which suggests an infectious, possibly bacterial, cause. The histopathological findings observed in the cord colitis syndrome are similar to those seen in Crohn’s disease. There is evidence that antibiotics may be a useful adjunctive therapy in patients with Crohn’s disease. A greater understanding of the cord colitis syndrome may provide insights into the pathophysiology of Crohn’s disease.”

The Cord Blood Registry

What is Cord Blood Registry?

The Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is the first bank in the USA that provides opportunity to save a baby’s cord blood and its tissues. This family bank is also considered as the largest and leading innovator of preserving cord blood stem cells since 1992. Its main headquarters is located in San Bruno, California and its laboratory is affiliated with University of Arizona in Tucson. The laboratory is headed by Dr. David T. Harris (expert in stem cell processing) and he also serves as the bank’s scientific director. CBR’s director of corporate communication is Kathy Engle and she can be reached through (650) 635-1420.

Cord Blood Registry is one of the most-visited websites online. As of this writing, its homepage has a pagerank of six. The entire website also contains essential information as to why parents shall bank cord blood and why select CBR. The site provides an automatic calculator allowing every visitor to compute their payment plan best for their budget.

Wondering how Cord Blood Registry operates, watch this video entitled Inside CBR

Charlie Saved by His Younger Brother

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening and progressive condition in which thick mucus mounts up in the lungs, harms your digestion and those infected males are infertile.

This what happened to Charlie Legge. At age five, he becomes the only person in Queenstowner in New Zealand who suffered CF.

His mom, Kate, got pregnant a couple of years after. Before delivery, Kate was advised by her midwife to preserve the umbilical cord in CordBank. The CordBank is a private cord blood bank that offers free services for Kiwi families who have a child with cystic fibrosis. The cord blood is preserved and it is well-kept in a cryogenic storage.

When Charlie became positive of CF, it was a blessing from heaven and the cord blood was used to revive his system. His old cells were altered with new ones and he’s expected to get well in the coming days.

This procedure is called cord blood transplant. The University of Melbourne performed its clinical trials and their research department confirms a transplant used with cord blood stem cells can cure CF.

As a result of cord blood transplant, Charlie becomes better. He received twenty minutes of physio to clear his lungs and took tablets after meals to support digestion.

“Physiotherapy, medication, nutrition and exercise are four important things. Charlie swims, likes his scooter and wants to start ice skating, and we’re going to get a trampoline for him. He’s extremely healthy and he’s never been hospitalised which is very unusual for a five-year-old with cystic fibrosis.” His mother said.

“I definitely think there’s going to be dramatic change with cystic fibrosis in Charlie’s lifetime.”

Update on Chace

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “Auction for Recovery” and it’s about a kid who’s sick with acute myeloid leukemia. This kid’s name is Chace and after his final round of chemotherapy, he went through a lot of pain for about three weeks.

Chace even developed a severe rash. He was allergic to one of those drugs administered to him and his entire face went black/purple. To recover, he also needed high doses of morphine to reduce the pain. Chace also needs to be on steroids to promote growth of the stem cell.

Three weeks after the cord blood transplant, the doctors notice good changes in Chace’s immune system. His overall health is getting stronger and he’s already walking around the room. Both his parents were happy to hear him singing and to see him dance.

Both Chace’s parents were trying to move on from the horrific experience and are also grateful for the unconditional support they received.

“This has been the most difficult experience of our lives but we have been truly humbled by the ongoing generosity of family, friends and the wider community.”

Chace’s grandfather, Mr. Rod Topperwien, raised $75,000 toward the overseas medical intervention. Ryan Topperwien was thankful of his father and just said:

“If we do it’s a last-ditch bid. We want people to know we are very thankful. It’s just one step at a time. We know he’s not out of the woods yet but at the moment it’s an emotional high.”

Cord Blood Bill in Florida

There are over 200,000 babies born in Florida annually. For this, it is a smart move by Governor Rick Scott to sign a new bill that persuades many expectant moms to either preserve or donate their newborn’s cord blood. As of August 14 and as published in Orlando Sentinel, the state’s Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) officially labels the cord blood as Health Bill 720.

At Arnold Palmer Hospital, there are two physicians join the circle of pediatrics. These are Alejandro Jordan-Villegas, MD and Dr. Karoly Horvath, MD. Villegas is the newest member of Infectious Disease Practice and completed his medical training at Universidad del Valle while Horvath was a director of Nemours Celiac Center and Gastroenterology Laboratory before coming to Orlando.