What is Cord Blood and Cryo-Cell’s Umbilical Cord Blood Banking service?
Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in the vein of the umbilical cord and placenta at the time of birth. Cord blood is rich in stem cells and Cryo-Cell’s umbilical cord blood service collects processes and cryogenically preserves these cells for potential medical use. Umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used to treat nearly 80 diseases with over 30,000 transplants worldwide. Banking cord blood is a means to safeguard and invest in your family's future health.
Why should I have my newborn’s Umbilical Cord Blood collected and preserved?
Since cord blood has an abundance of stem cells and medical use of stem cells are expanding at a rapid pace, collecting and cryopreserving cord blood is no longer viewed as luxury in life, but more as a wise investment towards a family's future health. Stem cell treatments and transplants are currently being performed around the globe on a daily basis to treat conditions such as cancers (including lymphoma and leukemia) and inherited metabolic disorders. Research for future uses of stem cells, such as the treatment of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cerebral palsy, holds great promise.
Often, matched stem cells necessary for transplants are difficult to obtain through public cord blood banks; however, cells taken from your newborn’s umbilical cord blood will be a perfect life time match for your baby and a probable sibling match. In addition, with the advancement of stem cell technologies, the likelihood of utilizing the preserved stem cells in one's lifetime will continue to grow. At present, the odds of undergoing any stem cell transplant by age 70 stands at 1 in 217.
What does this mean for the other children in my family?
Statistics show that there is a greater chance for success in a stem cell transplant between siblings than with unrelated donors and recipients. There is also a reduced likelihood of Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD), which is a major complication of stem cell transplants. Here is the statistics provided by the National Institutes of Health regarding risks of GVHD after a stem cell transplant when the relationship between the donor and the receiver is:
- Identical twins: very low
- Blood related family members: 30 – 40%
- Unrelated: 60 - 80%
If you are planning on having additional children, we strongly suggest that you consider this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What makes cord blood stem cells more usable than bone marrow?
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood and cord tissue can easily be extracted, resulting in no risk or pain for the mother or baby. Alternatively, bone marrow collection is an invasive procedure and requires general anesthesia which comes with its inherent risks.
Cord blood stem cells have a high rate of engraftment (transplanted cells reproducing in the host) and are more tolerant of HLA mismatches than bone marrow transplants. This characteristic results in a significantly reduced rate of post-transplant Graft-Versus-Host Disease.
- Immediately Available for Treatment With No Retrieval Fee
Family banked cord blood stem cells are readily accessible, allowing treatment to begin earlier if required, with no time wasted in the search and matching process which are required for publicly banked stem cells.
When you bank with Cryo-Cell, there is no cost to retrieve your baby’s stored stem cells if they are ever needed for transplant. However, there may be a fee associated with further testing required for transplant and transportation of the product to the transplant facility.
- Rarely Contaminated with Latent Viruses
Cord blood stem cells are rarely contaminated with latent viruses, which results in better acceptance by the body than stem cells from bone marrow. For this reason, cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are dubbed ‘privileged’, for their unique characteristic of being unexposed to most diseases.
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