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SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS

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07/Jun/2018

Stem cells perform three important functions:  1.  They renew themselves; 2. Differentiate into other cells; and 3. Renew other cells. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can restore the immune system following  chemotherapy or radiation for leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases.

Historically, HSCs have only been available from bone marrow and peripheral blood transplants.  As cord blood processing and storage technology has advanced over the last thirty years, it is now superior to both bone marrow and peripheral blood as a source of HSCs.

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are now widely used in clinical research and are a leading source of stem cells for cellular therapy.    In addition, stem cells from umbilical cord blood are increasingly available as transplant units stored in public and private cord blood banks steadily increase every year.

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood have some important benefits that stems cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood lack.    In considering private cord blood banking for your growing family, here are some highlights on the benefits of banking your child’s cord blood:

Cord Blood Offers More Than Bone Marrow

Should your child or another family member need a stem cell transplant, you’ll want to know there is a readily available genetic match.  The National Bone Marrow Registry and public cord blood banks won’t provide the same certainty as privately banked cord blood.

  • Your child’s stem cells are a perfect genetic match to them and a potential genetic match for siblings and other family members.  Finding a matching unrelated donor is less certain, particularly for minorities or mixed-race families.
  • Cord blood is collected in advance, tested, and stored frozen, ready for use.  Bone marrow donation requires finding a match, scheduling surgery, collection under general anesthesia, and recovery.
  • A small volume of cord blood can be used in transplants.  Bone marrow transplants require a quart of more of bone marrow and blood.

Cord Blood Has a Lower Risk of Complications

In thinking about the options for a stem cell transplant, safety and efficacy are critical to a full recovery.  Cord blood stem cells are superior to bone marrow stem cells in terms of risks of rejection, contamination, and infection.  They also outperform bone marrow in their ability to replace cells damaged or deceased from chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

  • Cord blood has a lower risk of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). Approximately 10% of patients experience complications from chronic graft-versus-host disease from cord blood transplants versus 60% for bone marrow recipients.  Graft-versus-host disease occurs when immune cells from the donor (the graft) attack the recipient’s cells (the host).
  • Cord blood transplants have a low risk of tumor growth, low risk of viral contamination, and high cell proliferation capacity.
  • Latent viral infection is rare in cord blood donors.  Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is present in <1% of U.S. cord blood donors, but >50% of U.S. adult bone marrow donors.  Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that can infect almost anyone.  While it rarely causes problems for healthy individuals, it is a leading cause of death in bone marrow transplants as a result of their weakened immune systems.

Source:  Bioinformant Worldwide, LLC: Complete 2015 – 2016 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report


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07/Jun/2018

In addition to potentially life-saving stem cells, your newborn’s umbilical cord blood also contains their DNA.   Storing your child’s cord blood ensures that their baseline genetic information will be available if ever needed.

What Can Genes Tell Us?

The sum total of all the information coded into your child’s individual genes is their genome.  Simply put, it’s what makes your child unique.  Your newborn’s genome determines whether they’ll grow up to be right or left handed, have brown or blue eyes, if they’ll need glasses, and how well they’ll sleep at night.

The information locked away in your newborn’s genome can be decoded to help anticipate potentially serious health risks, both now and as they grow older.  Hospitals routinely conduct genetic screening tests on newborns using a heel prick test.  Using a small amount of a newborn’s blood they screen for a number of harmful or potentially fatal genetic disorders.  These tests help identify potential risks for biotinidase deficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, galactosemia, maple syrup urine disease, MCAD deficiency, phenylketonuria, severe combined immunodeficiency, sickle cell disease, tyrosinemia, and toxoplasmosis.

With decades of research into mapping the human genome, researchers have also identified many of the genes associated with worries that keep parents up at night as their children grow – whether they have any allergies to foods, vaccines, medicines; questions about their physical development; and risks for inherited diseases later in life, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Heart Disorders, Breast & Colon Cancer, or to any other diseases.

Genetic Insights from Cord Blood

Scientists working to map the entire human genome don’t yet know all the associations between genes, childhood health, and personal development.  However, what they’ve already discovered can be an early warning system for topics to discuss with your pediatrician.

Genetic testing of your child’s cord blood can identify potential food intolerances, like peanut allergies, lactose intolerance, and egg allergies.  It also can identify potential immunities to vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella, and smallpox; lethal reactions to medications like codeine; and difficulties metabolizing vitamins, such as D, B12, and E.  Armed with this knowledge, your pediatrician can do further testing to confirm whether there is cause for concern.

You doctor can use only a small portion of the stem cells you stored with us for genetic analysis.  They would simply contact us to request a small sample of your child’s stem cells for DNA analysis.  Our team will have it processed and shipped to them.

Banking Cord Blood Archives DNA!

Newborn DNA is unlike that of older children and adults.  In addition to the information about risks for inherited genetic diseases, it holds important baseline genetic information.

Doctors can compare this baseline genetic information later in life to find possible changes caused by environmental factors. Differences in the genome can provide insights into how food, drugs, stress, or exposure to toxins effect how genes function.  Understanding environmental versus inherited factors can help determine available treatment options.

Banking your child’s cord blood also stores a record of their baseline DNA if ever needed.


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Our purpose is to provide the expectant mothers with information necessary to discover the lifesaving potential of umbilical cord blood.

Copyright Cord for Life 2018. All rights reserved.