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8 Myths Uncovered about Cord Blood Stem Cell Storage

AUG2021-Blog-Week5

As parents learn more about umbilical cord stem cells and their potential uses, they can become overloaded with information. Unfortunately, some of the information they receive may not be accurate. In this article, we'll uncover the most common myths and misconceptions about cord blood stem cell storage that you should know if you are considering saving your baby's umbilical cord blood at birth.

1. If my child needs a stem cell transplant in the future, I can get cells from a public bank

Stem cells from a public stem cell bank may not be a match for your child and can be rejected by the patient's body. Because your child’s cord blood stem cells are from their own body (autologous) they are a 100% genetic match. A genetic virtually guarantees that a transplant will be accepted. Additionally, by storing your child’s umbilical cord stem cells with a private stem cell bank, you are guaranteeing fast and easy access to stem cells when you need them.

2. Cord blood collection takes important blood away from my baby

The collection of umbilical cord blood takes place after the birth of the baby (once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut away) and has no negative impact on your child. With cord blood stem cells storage, you are preserving the precious stem cells within the cord blood instead of it being discarded as medical waste. Signing up to cord blood stem cell storage with Cells4Life is simple. Check out the video below to learn more.

WATCH: SIMPLE STEPS TO CORD BLOOD BANKING

 

3. It is practically impossible to delay clamping the umbilical cord and also do cord blood stem cell storage

Delayed clamping involves waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before clamping it. It is thought that the additional time allows more nutrients and stem cell rich blood to enter your baby after it is born. The World Health Organisation recommends that clamping be delayed between 1 and 3 minutes.

It is entirely possible to use delayed clamping and preserve umbilical cord stem cells. You only need as little as 50 ml of umbilical cord blood for banking. The umbilical cord usually contains about 200 ml of blood and research has shown that delayed clamping will only result in a loss of about 80 ml of blood. The umbilical cord tissue also holds valuable stem cells, so can be retained regardless of delayed clamping.

4. Transplant doctors would rarely use the baby's own stem cells to treat disease

Umbilical stem cells can be used to treat dozens of diseases. That includes diseases like Leukaemia, lymphoma, tumours, autoimmune diseases, aplastic anaemia and many more illnesses. The only diseases that cannot be treated with a child’s umbilical cord stem cells are ones where the tissue itself carries the genetic defect causing the disease. In those cases, it is often helpful to have a sibling’s umbilical cord on hand, so there will be a greater chance of a full or partial match.

Cells4Life has released cord blood samples for autologous (using own cord blood) stem cell treatment of cerebral injury, aquired brain injury, perinatal stroke, and autism. Learn more

5. The chances of my family ever needing a cord blood sample are very low

You might think that the chances of your child getting Leukaemia, an auto-immune disorder or some genetic disorder are quite small, so they won’t need their stem cells. However, the number of treatments which use umbilical stem cells is rapidly increasing. Research suggests that within 5-10 years there could be commercial available treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, spinal injuries, cerebral palsy and breast cancer (Ratcliffe, Glen, Naing & Williams, 2013).

Umbilical stem cells could even be used for cosmetic purposes, to help your child recover from burns or heal scar tissue. Eventually they will be used to prolong people’s lives, improving their eyesight, hearing and cognitive function.

The stem cells of your children can also be used for their siblings, parents or grandparents. Storing the cord blood stem cells is an investment in your entire family’s future. Research suggests that there is a 1 in 200 chance that a child’s umbilical cord stem cells will be used by their family. That figure does not include the potential applications of stem cells in the future. When the promises of regenerative medicine come to fruition, your child’s stem cells will certainly be very useful.

More than 40,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide and over 5 million families have stored their baby's cord blood stem cells privately.

6. Using umbilical cord blood stem cells is highly experimental

The first cord blood stem cell transplant occurred in 1988 when a baby girl’s stem cells were used to treat her brother for Fanconi anaemia. The transplant was a success and they are both alive and well today. Currently, more than 7000 clinical trials using cord blood stem cells for medical conditions including Alzheimer's disease, brain cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, hearing loss, and spinal cord injury. The technology is well and truly mainstream and exciting new therapies are currently being researched.

7. Umbilical cord blood banking is expensive

Cells4Life offers a number of personalised payment plans to help with affordability. Simply contact us to speak to a cord blood specialist about the payment options. We offer the most comprehensive stem cell banking services for expecting parents - cord blood banking, cord tissue banking, placental cells and amnion banking. Learn more

8. The potential applications of regenerative medicine don't mean I need to store my child's own stem cells, I can just use a public stem cell bank

The current studies which are examining regenerative medical procedures all rely upon the subjects having stem cells available which they own. Private stem cell banking is the only way to guarantee you always have stem cells on hand which you can use in case your baby or any member of your family needs a stem cell transplant. To gain access to stem cells from a public bank, you would have to request permission and other procedures.

Sources

Pasquini MC, Logan BR, Verter F, et al. (1995) The Likelihood of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HCT) in the United States: Implications for Umbilical Cord Blood Storage. Blood. 2005;106(11)”What was a discard has become valuable-indeed priceless to many children with leukemia, and perhaps in the future to children with AIDS and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.”- Science, Vol. 268, May 12, 1995.

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