Cord blood banking is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to be prepared for the future of medicine. Umbilical cord stem cells are a potentially lifesaving resource for your child, their siblings, and other family members.
Most of the diseases for which umbilical cord blood is a standard treatment are disorders of blood cell lineage, such as blood cancers, tumors, and other disorders. The hematopoietic stem cells in umbilical cord blood are used to rebuild the body following chemotherapy and other aggressive treatments. Currently, there are over 80 FDA approved treatments using umbilical cord blood, including childhood leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and other blood cancers and immune disorders.
Unlike that of older children and adults, newborn umbilical cord blood contains important baseline genetic information without the influence of environmental factors. This baseline genetic information can be compared later in life to determine if there have been changes caused by environmental factors. It can provide valuable insights into understanding the influence of food, drugs, stress, or exposure to toxins on how genes function and what treatment options are available.
Using only a small portion of the stem cells you stored with us, your medical professional can use your newborn’s stem cells for genetic analysis. They would simply contact us to request a small sample of your child’s stem cells for DNA analysis and our team will have it processed and shipped to them.
Other family members may also be able to take advantage of the potentially lifesaving benefits of your newborn’s cord blood. Children with the same biological parents have a 25% chance of being a perfect HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) match and a 50% chance of being a partial HLA match. Human Leukocyte Antigens are proteins that your immune system uses to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not.
Parents and grandparents may also be able to use your newborn’s cord blood for certain therapies. Some uses in older patients include repair of damaged elbows, knees, and other joints. Future uses could include treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, currently being explored in clinical trials.
In thinking about banking your newborn’s umbilical cord blood, an important consideration is how long it will be a potential lifesaving resource. Stem cells have been safely stored and used after 25 years.
Keep in mind that just like any other drug, the amount you need depends on your child’s weight and on the disease being treated. The National Cord Blood Program at the New York Blood Center suggests an average stem cell count for an umbilical cord transplant should be a minimum of 2×107 Total Nucleated Cells (TNCs) per kg of body weight.
The time period for using your child’s cord blood depends on the number of stem cells in their cord blood collection – the more stems cells extracted, the longer your child can use them. That’s why it’s important to bank with Cord For Life®, the only cord blood bank with PREMIERMAX® technology, clinically proven process to yield the highest number of stem cells.
Remember that other family members may also be able to use your newborn’s stored stem cells. Also, there are conditions such as knee, elbow, and other joint treatments that aren’t weight related and require significantly fewer stem cells.
Lastly, current research on stem cell expansion technologies may one day be able to boost the number of cells in a cord blood collection.
Reserve your Cord Blood Collection Kit in time to bring it with you when you go into labor. Give your newborn every advantage with cord blood banking!
By donating your newborn’s cord blood, you are joining a nationwide effort to create a genetically diverse inventory of stem cells for transplant to a child.