Cord Blood Stem Cells
+ What is cord blood?
Cord blood, or umbilical cord blood, is blood taken from the newborn’s umbilical cord and placenta immediately following birth. Cord blood contains high concentrations of stem cells. From those cells, all new blood cells, the body’s immune system and other organ tissues develop. These cord blood stem cells produce the cellular ingredients necessary for the blood and the immune system. When the umbilical cord blood cells are transplanted into patients, they can help restore the immune and blood systems to help fight diseases and replace diseased blood.
+ What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the most primitive cells that are found in bone marrow, umbilical cord and placenta blood, umbilical cord and placenta tissues, adult peripheral blood and other body tissues. Stem cells are the master or progenitor cells from which all the various types of blood cells and other body organ tissues such as bone, muscle, heart, liver, kidney, neuro, eye, skin, etc. are derived.
+ How Is Umbilical Cord Blood Collected?
Cord blood collection is simple and poses no risk to you or your baby. Immediately after your baby’s delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and the baby is separated from the cord. At this point, the needle attached to the collection bag is inserted into the vein in the umbilical cord. The placental blood/umbilical cord blood, drawn by gravity, then flows into the collection bag. The bag comes equipped with an anti-coagulant to keep the blood from clotting before it reaches our laboratory. Unlike traditional bone marrow collection, which usually requires general anesthesia and recovery, the process of collecting cord blood is non-invasive, painless and generally takes just three to five minutes to complete. Salveo will supply you with a cord blood collection kit prior to your baby’s delivery date. You simply bring the kit to the hospital for the physician or midwife to collect the cord blood after you deliver.
+ How Are the Cells Stored?
Your baby’s cord blood stem cells are stored in a multi-compartment storage bag. We set aside a smaller sample, which can be used for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type matching should the cells be needed for someone other than your baby. HLA type matching determines whether a patient has a suitable donor for stem cell transplant.One-hundred percent of the processed cells are preserved for your family and nothing is withheld for our use, a procedure unique to Salveo. We also set aside three smaller samples, which can be used for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type matching should the cells be needed for someone other than your baby.
+ What if the maternity doesn’t accept to collect the cord blood?
Some maternities are still reluctant regarding the collection of cord blood. If you face any problem concerning this issue, please contact us and we’ll find a solution together. As our health departement has been accredited , we often just need to rassure the maternity that we are a safe and secured cell bank.
+ How do you ascertain compatibility?
Umbilical cord stem cells only match 100% with a monozygotic twin of the donor. Compatibility – in this case we talk about histocompatibility – is an hereditary characteristic which diminishes, in terms of probability, in widening of the parental range. Histocompatibility is ascertained with an HLA exam (Human Leukocyte Antigen, a first level clinical test, the so-called “phenotyping”, for which a simple blood sample collection is needed). If a basic match between donor and recipient is found, the “phenotyping” is extended with a DNA test and ultimately with the MLC execution (Mixed Lymphocyte Culture) which confirms the match. The certification of compatibility does not mean the defrosting of the cells sample.
+ What diseases can be cured today by using stem cells?
The stem cells are unprogrammed cells in the human body. These ready-to-develop cells have the ability to change into other types of cells. Stem cells are at the center of a new field of science called regenerative medicine. Because stem cells can become bone, muscle, cartilage and other specialized types of cells, they have the potential to treat many diseases, including leukemias, anemias, heart disease and a host of other diseases currently numbering more than 75 stem cell treatable disorders. Future scientific discoveries hold the promise of potential stem cell treatment help for stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus, neurodegenerative disorders, and many other medical problems.The scientific community believe that in the near future therapeutic applications using stem cells might become even more resolute to cure the following diseases:
- Spinal cord injury subsequent to a trauma
- Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer disease)
- Muscle – skeletal diseases
- Retina, cornea, auditory apparatus degenerative diseases
- Metabolic diseases (i.e. Diabetes)
- Bones reconstruction
- Urinary incontinence
Banking Cord Blood
+ Can my baby’s stem cells also be used for another family member?
Anyone having a direct match with your child, such as a brother or sister,can use the donated stem cells, if you have given your written consent for your baby’s stem cells to be donated. You must note that the chances are 1 in 4 in this familial case.
+ In case of twins, do I need more than one collection kit?
Yes, for twins you need two collection kits. However you receive a reduction for the second child of 50% on the service fee.
+ Is it possible to sell my stem cells to third parties?
In most countries it is illegal to sell body parts, including blood, to third parties.
+ Is storing umbilical cord blood painful or dangerous for my baby and me?
No pain or danger at all. Collection takes place immediately following birth, after the cutting of the umbilical cord. It is taken from the part of the umbilical cord connected to the placenta; a painless and risk-free procedure.
+ What is the lifetime probability of a person using his stem cells?
Over the course of a lifetime up to age 70, the probability that a person will require a transplant of her own stem cells (“autologous transplant”) is 1 in 435 or 0.23%.
+ Who can use my baby’s cord blood stem cells?
Any family member who is a suitable match may be able to use your baby’s cord blood stem cells for transplant medicine, although siblings are the most likely to be compatible matches for using stem cells. Your baby will always be a perfect match and may use his or her own stem cells for a number of diseases, however, not for inherited genetic conditions. In those cases a matched sibling’s stem cells would be the first choice.
+ Who has access to the laboratories and storage room?
Our equipment is controlled and maintained under strict supervision of the facility management team of the Salveo 24 hours a day with prominent reputation. We invest everything we could to pushing our technologies and facilities in ameliorating the quality of stem our Salveo cell bank.
+ How is the cord blood collected?
Umbilical cord blood is easily collected by your caregiver using the Collection Kit and instructions supplied by Salveo. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut in the same manner as it would be for normal delivery of the baby. Using a blood collection bag, cord blood is drawn from the umbilical cord. Salveo has found that the bag collection method is both easy to use as well as effective for volume optimization and low contamination rates. Maternal blood is also collected via venipuncture for infectious disease testing.
+ Will I be charged a fee by my healthcare provider for the collection of the blood?
Many healthcare providers charge a fee for the procedure of collecting umbilical cord blood. We suggest that you discuss this procedure with your healthcare provider prior to enrolling in our service to verify their agreement to perform the collection; at that time you may determine their policy regarding a collection fee.
+ What happens after the cord blood is collected?
The cord blood is packaged with the mother’s blood in the special shipping materials provided in the Kit. The parents then call the Salveo Transportation Coordinator, to arrange for pick up and delivery of the cord blood to Salveo’s laboratory within 36 to 48 hours of collection, where it is processed, tested, separated and the stem cells are cryogenically stored.
Processing & Banking
+ What is the process once we receive your baby’s cord blood?
In the lab, the technician will:
- Run the mother’s blood through a wide variety of tests to ensure that there are no diseases present at the time of delivery that could have transferred to the child’s cord blood.
- Reduce the volume of the blood to about one quarter of the collected volume (approximately 25 ml or .85 ounce) by removing a large proportion of the red blood cells and plasma (liquid portion of the blood). The red blood cells and plasma do not need to be stored as they do not contain stem cells.
- Analyze the cord blood to determine how many transplantable cells are present and create a report with this information. This information will be useful in case you need to use the cord blood later.
- Add cryopreservative (special chemicals to help in the freezing process) to the remaining stem cell collection.
- Slowly chill the bag at a rate of 1º centigrade (C) per minute until it reaches the optimal freezing temperature of -130º C (-320º Fahrenheit).
- Transfer the stem cell collection into storage.
+ How do you store the stem cells and tissue?
Although temperature maintenance used to be better in full liquid, new cord blood storage tanks have been significantly improved and now vapor tanks are able to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the tanks. Also, there is some hesitation about storing in full liquid because infections or bacteria might be able to “swim” through the liquid and infect another specimen.Salveo Cord Blood Laboratories has begun storing specimens in vapor as we are now confident of temperature control using this method. Our tank’s temperature is monitored electronically with readings every hour and we have two back-up alarm systems should the temperature be compromised in any way.
Enrolling with Salveo
+ How can I enroll with Salveo?
You can either enroll by going to the enrollment page or by phone (0808 189 0360).Salveo offers various programs, discounts, promotions and payment plans, as outlined below this pricing structure. Online enrollments will be provided with the best possible pricing structure available at the time of enrollment, but payment plans must be arranged for by completing the enrollment form.
+ Why enroll with Salveo?
In order to further reassure our customers, we strive to obtain voluntary accreditations where these are not in conflict with national legal requirements. Our message to customers is that in choosing Salveo to store your child’s stem cells you are making a secure and safe choice.
At Salveo we choose to take care of your child’s future with full transparency. When saving your child’s stem cells with Salveo there are no hidden costs, like annual fees or extra charges for the standard testing of the samples.
+ Misconception: Doctors would never treat the child with his or her own cord blood stem cells because it would contain the disease.
There are certain medical conditions that would not use autologous stem cells (one’s own stem cells):
- Genetic Diseases: A situation in which a child may not be able to use his or her own cord blood stem cells is in genetic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia. If the child has a genetic disease, the cells are not useful in transplantation or regenerative medicine.
- Certain Cancers: In addition, doctors may not choose autologous stem cells for treatment of certain forms of leukemia in earlier years of life, due to the concern that such an early onset may indicate a genetic component.
Autologous Use:?Thousands of autologous stem cell transplants – those using one’s own stem cells – are performed every year.
Autologous transplants are performed for diseases such as: Hodgkin’s disease, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, myeloma, Ewing’s sarcoma, neuroblastoma, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain tumors, and other solid tumors.
Research from the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that even with early-onset disease (within 12 months of birth), the child’s stem cells are viable for use in transplantation. In the study, an autologous stem cell treatment for infants with acute leukemia was just as successful as a sibling transplant
Autologous cord blood stem cells have many advantages as a transplant source, including no risk of graft vs. host disease (a leading cause of death for transplant patients), immediate availability, and low risk of the cells being contaminated by disease.
New treatments with cord blood focus on regenerative medicine – where doctors use stem cells to repair damaged tissues and organs in the body. Cord blood stem cells are showing significant potential to treat conditions that have no cure today – like juvenile diabetes and brain injury. For regenerative medicine applications, the child’s own cord blood is required.
+ The chances that a family, with no history of cancer or disease, will ever need their banked cord blood are so low that people shouldn’t bother doing it.
Families save their babies’ cord blood stem cells with Salveo for peace of mind because these stem cells may one day be lifesaving to their family. Most of Salveo’s clients have no family history of disease but recognize the current and future value of their newborns’ cord blood stem cells as a biological resource for medical treatments.Family History:?Family history is not a reliable indicator of need because most forms of leukemia (the most common stem cell transplant) are not hereditary, and the causes of many cancers and diseases are unknown. In fact, numerous serious diseases treatable with cord blood are not heredity and occur without warning. Many researchers and doctors believe that cancer is “environmentally triggered” and in some cases, certain types of cancers are growing at alarming rates. Recent reports indicate that one in 630 children will get cancer by age fifteen.
+ Cord blood is not being used yet in medical treatments.
Over the past 20 years, through 15,000 transplants, cord blood stem cells have been proven effective in treating many diseases. In fact, cord blood stem cells have been used to treat many life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and other cancers. In transplant medicine, a patient generally will undergo chemotherapy and then receive an infusion of cord blood stem cells to create a healthy blood and immune system.Cord blood stem cells are showing significant potential to treat conditions that have no cure today – like juvenile diabetes and brain injury. This new field, called regenerative medicine is researching using your baby’s stem cells to help repair or replace cells that have been damaged by disease or injury.
+ The cord blood stem cells may not remain useful after long-term storage.
Umbilical stem cells can be stored indefinitely under liquid or gaz nitrogen. The policy states, “There is no evidence at present that cells stored at?-196°C in an undisturbed manner lose either in-vitro determined viability or biologic activity. Therefore, at the current time, no expiration date need be assigned to cord blood stored continuously under liquid nitrogen.” All science involving cryogenic storage of cells also indicates that the cells should remain viable indefinitely.