Attention: Expectant Parents
Cord blood banking is probably one of the most important long-term investments for your family's health. While it is crucial that your child's stem cells are processed and stored with the best methods possible, it is even more vital that you need a cord blood bank that would be with you for years to come, regardless of how uncertain times may be.
During pregnancy, the umbilical cord functions as a lifeline between mother and child. Years later, the blood present within the umbilical cord could offer hope for the child or other individuals in the family.
The umbilical cord blood is a rich source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs); cells responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system. HSCs are known as 'precursor cells', as they have the unique ability to differentiate into the different types of cells found in the body, namely:
- Red Blood Cells - which transport oxygen
- White Blood Cells - which produce antibodies and fight bacteria
- Platelets - which assist blood clotting
Since 1988, UCB stem cells have been used to treat an increasing number of diseases. Today, this numbers more than 80, including blood and metabolic disorders, immunodeficiency ailments and autoimmune diseases. For a full list of treatable diseases, click here.
When transplanted into a patient, the haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) migrate to the bone marrow and produce new blood cells, boosting the immune system. With the rapid advances in technology, the number of diseases treated by stem cell therapies is expected to increase.
Advantages of storing UCB stem cells are:
- A guaranteed match for autologous transplants (where the donor and recipient are the same individual)
- A readily available supply of stored HSCs. This compares well to having to do a national or international search which is costly and time-consuming in an already time critical situation.
- Lower risk of Graft vs. Host Disease for autologous transplants, a situation where the transplanted tissue attacks the patients own tissue.
- Ease of collection, which is pain-free and risk-free to both mother and child.
- UCB stem cells are more vigorous, have a higher rate of engraftment and are more tolerant to tissue mismatches, compared to other types of stem cells, e.g. bone marrow.
The main intention for a stem cell transplant is the need to reconstitute a patient's blood and immune system, following treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, which destroys the blood cells. The HSCs are infused directly into the patient's blood stream, and subsequently migrate to the bone marrow.
Within the bone marrow environment, the HSCs are able to begin their differentiation into the three types of blood cells, thereby initiating the regeneration of the patient's blood and immune system.
The first umbilical cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 and resulted in the successful treatment of a 5-year old boy diagnosed with Fanconi Anaemia. To date there have been more than 14000 umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants reported worldwide.
List 1: DISEASES TREATED BY STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION
Malignant diseases (cancers):
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Acute Myelocytic Leukemia
- Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia
- Chronic Myelogeneous Leukemia
- Juvenile Chronic Myelogeneous Leukemia
- Juvenile Mono-Myelocytic Leukemia
- Myeloid/Natural Killer (NK) Cell Precursor Acute Leukemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Refractory anemia
- Refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts
- Refractory anemia with excess blasts
- Refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation
- Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
- Polymphocytic Leukemia
Non-malignant diseases (such as inherited metabolic storage disorders, immune system disorders etc):
- Agnogenic myeloid metaplasia (also called Myelofibrosis)
- Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
- Blackfan-Diamond Syndrome
- Cerebral X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)
- Dyskeratosis Congenita
- Evans syndrome
- Familial Erythrophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
- Fanconi’s Anemia
- Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy (also called Krabbe disease)
- Gunther Disease
- Hurler Syndrome
- Kostmann Syndrome
- Lesch Nyhan Syndrome
- Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome
- Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria
- Pure Red Cell Aplasia
- Purine Nucleotide Phosphorylase Deficiency
- Reticular Dysgenesis
- Severe Aplastic Anemia
- Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID)
- SCID with absence of T & B cells
- SCID with absence of T cells, normal B cells
- Combined Immmunodeficiency
- Common Variable Immunodeficiency
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Thalassemia (Major)
- Thymic Dysplasia
- Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome
- X-linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome
- X-linked HyperIgM syndrome
List 2: ADDITIONAL DISEASES TREATED BY STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION (2002-2004)
- Burkitt’s Lymphoma
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma
- Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome
- Chediak-Higashi Syndrome
- Chronic Granulomatous Disease
- Congenital Neutropenia
- DiGeorge Syndrome
- Histiocytosis X (also called Langerhans’ Cell Histiocytosis)
- Hurler-Scheie Syndrome
- Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia
- Omenn Syndrome
- Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency
- Mucolipidosis II (I cell disease)
- Metachromatic leukodystrophy
- Neuronal/Infantile Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (also called Batten Disease)
- Nezelof Syndrome
- Shwachman–Diamond syndrome
- Sly Syndrome
- Tay-Sachs Syndrome
- Wolman Disease
List 3: ADDITIONAL DISEASES TREATED BY STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION (2006-2007)
- Acute Biphenotypic Leukemia*
- Acute Undifferentiated Leukemia*
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma
- Brain tumour*
- Ewing Sarcoma*
- Ovarian Cancer*
- Renal Cell Carcinoma*
- Small Cell Lung Cancer*
- Testicular Cancer*
- Rescue after autologous bone marrow transplant failure
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
- Congenital Cytopenia*
- Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia
- Griscelli Syndrome
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
- Polycythemia Vera*
- Gaucher’s Disease*
- Niemann-Pick Disease*
- Sandhoff Disease*
- SCID with Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency*
- Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome
- Chronic Active Epstein Barr (resulting in lymphoproliferative disease)
- X-linked Immune Dysregulation Polyendocrine Enteropathy
- Multiple Sclerosis *
- Rheumatoid Arthritis*
- Type 1 Diabetes*
- Cerebral palsy*
*Part of ongoing clinical trials in the U.S. (refer to www.clinicaltrials.gov for more info).
- Raetz et al., BMT, 1997
- Shaw et al., Pediatric Transplantation, 1999
- S. J. Fasouliotis, J.G. Schenker / European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 2000
- Ballen et al., BBMT, 2001
- Gluckman et al., Exp Hematol., 2004
- Martin et al., BBMT, 2004
- Gluckman and Wagner, BMT, 2008
Banking cord blood does not guarantee that the cells will provide a cure or be applicable in every situation. Use will be ultimately determined by the treating physician.
Last update 4th Aug 2011.
Studies have shown that cord blood stem cells can also be used for siblings and other members of your family who have a matching tissue type. Siblings have up to a 75% chance of compatibility, and the cord blood may even be a match for parents (50%) and grandparents.
Cord blood stem cells are currently used in the treatment of several life-threatening diseases, and play an important role in the treatment of blood and immune system related genetic diseases, cancers, and blood disorders
| ||Saving our first-born's cord blood stem cells was a no-brainer for my husband and me. As new parents we want to be able to provide the best options we can for Noah; we'd also like to try and start preparing for his future. Cord blood banking does both for us. We don't know if or when we'll be needing the stored cord blood stem cells, but it gives us a sense of security and peace that, should we ever need it, the best solutions are available to us. |
We chose CordLife for 2 reasons – their service quality and the fact that they have a facility in Manila. It just made a lot more sense to us and we're so happy we did it!
|Gillian Akiko Thomson-Guevara|
3-time Olympian, gold medalist SEA Games and entrepreneur
Type 1 diabetes
A clinical trial underway at the University of Florida is examining how an infusion of autologous cord blood stem cells into children with Type 1 diabetes will impact metabolic control over time, as compared to standard insulin treatments. Preliminary results demonstrate that an infusion of cord blood stem cells is safe and may provide some slowing of the loss of insulin production in children with type 1 diabetes
| ||Cord blood banking was a completely new concept to me when I had my first child, but I had read up on it due to the fact that my mom was diagnosed with stage 3b cancer the year prior to my pregnancy – and I wanted to do my tiny part in perhaps saving a family member’s life down the line. With percentages high on potentially saving lives within my family – I knew that I wanted to do this for those I love more than life itself. |
|Lexi Schulze Berenguer-Testa|
TV Host and Magazine Editor
Singapore Storage Facility
Singapore is an ideal long-term storage place for your baby's cord blood unit because of its natural disaster-free location, political and socio-economic stability. Located in Singapore Science Park II, our cord blood processing laboratory is housed in the most prestigious research and development (R&D) and technology hub in the country.
Our AABB accredited facility is well equipped with 24/7 backup systems, which are further enhanced with remote alarm to alert our staff via phone if anything is amiss. Our equipment, critical materials and services also undergo stringent testing and certification regularly.
Your baby's cord blood will be stored in fire retardant and vacuum insulated double hull nitrogen tanks which can remain at optimal temperature for more than two weeks without replenishing liquid nitrogen.
As Singapore is geographically small and free from natural disasters, there is no real need to store your baby's cord blood in different locations. This unnecessary location transfer will only heighten the risks of exposing your baby's cord blood to heat, resulting in cellular damage and sample mix-up. It is CordLife's lifelong commitment to safeguard your baby's cord blood unit under the best storage conditions in the most secure and safest location in Singapore.
CordLife Singapore's AABB accredited facility
Philippines Storage Facility
Located in UP-Ayalaland Technohub in Metro Manila, Philippines’ first and only cord blood processing and storage facility was officially inaugurated on 23 February 2010. This world-class facility is registered with the Department of Health and is built in accordance with global gold standards such as the American Association of Blood Banks and ISO. The facility operates 365 days a year and offers the world’s only fully automated cord blood processing system, SEPAX, with a storage capacity for more than 20,000 cord blood units.
"CordLife's latest cord blood processing and storage facility in the Philippines marks another regional expansion milestone for the company. Focusing on high quality services, CordLife has been investing in various innovations to ensure that it provides value-added services to all its customers. SPRING will continue to partner CordLife in its journey to enhance capabilities for greater growth locally and regionally," said Ms Samantha Su, Deputy Director of Services & Biomedical and International Partnership Office, SPRING Singapore.
Photo courtesy of Aidea Philippines, Inc.
CordLife Limited is a leading healthcare company that provides a full suite of cord blood and tissue banking services to expectant parents for the collection, processing and cryopreservation of cord blood stem cells and umbilical cord tissue. The Company is dedicated to offering the highest possibility of successful adult stem cell therapy to give hope and save lives. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, CordLife Limited is well established as the largest network of private stem cell banks across Asia Pacific with state-of-the-art cord blood and tissue processing and cryopreservation facilities in India, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as a network that extends to Singapore, Hong Kong, and China Safe and secure processing and storage facility equipped with 24/7 laboratory monitoring technology
Call (02) 710-9195 to find out about their flexible payment plans.