Currently about 90 to 95% of umbilical cord blood is discarded after birth. That is very sad because with the stem cells from umbilical cord blood various diseases can be cured. When you have just given birth you always get the question what to do with the placenta. You can do that at that time storing stem cells from the umbilical cord and choose placenta. Read more about the benefits and how it works.
Storing stem cells at birth
Every parent can choose after birth whether the placenta and umbilical cord is discarded or stored. With storage is meant the blood from the umbilical cord. This blood contains extra stem cells that are used to build up your child. These are the most original stem cells. If you choose to keep it, it can easily be taken care of by the midwife or doctor, for example. It is good to report this in advance to your midwife. The collection is completely painless and without risks.
What are stem cells and what can they do?
Our bodies are made up of innumerable cells. Stem cells are the basic cells of our body. Other cells originate from these cells because stem cells divide. In principle, therefore, all cells in our body are derived from stem cells. New stem cells are in bone marrow cavities of our bones. The most original stem cells are extracted from the umbilical cord blood. Every person has different stem cells, which makes them very unique.
If you ever need a stem cell transplant, you must have stem cells that match your body. Of course, no stem cell matches better than your own. For this reason many people choose to store stem cells from the umbilical cord to deal with any diseases in the future. Nowadays, 80 different diseases are treated or cured with stem cells, including leukemia.
Ways to store stem cells
There are two options you can choose from if you want to store stem cells from the umbilical cord of your newborn baby.
- You have the stem cells stored in the public umbilical cord blood, this is part of the blood bank Sanquin. When you store the stem cells here, you actually donate them and they are for public use. So you can also help other people in need. This option is completely free of charge. It is only possible to choose this option if the hospital you like works in partnership with Sanquin.
- You store the stem cells at a stem cell or organ bank for your own use only. Nobody else can use it. Costs are associated with this option.
Stem cells store costs
Two commercial storage banks are known where you can store the stem cells for personal use. If you choose this, you must discuss this in advance with the relevant stem cell bank. The costs per bank:
De Stamcelbank Nederland:
Here you first pay a starting price of € 296.50. Then you pay € 121, - annually for storage.
If you opt for the Cryocord base, you will pay a total of € 2,395, including: collection set, transport, processing and storage of the stem cells for 25 years.
Storing stem cells from the umbilical cord or not?
It would be a pity if those stem cells were thrown away, while they might save a life.
Storing stem cells from the umbilical cord is certainly a good idea. Unfortunately, there is no longer the choice to donate stem cells from the umbilical cord to the public blood bank. Sanquin, who took care of this in the Netherlands, was therefore stopped due to a lack of resources.
A good option is to register with Matchis as a parent. By means of cheek slime they can obtain an HLA typing that is mentioned in the international register. Does someone need stem cells and are they consistent with your HLA typing then you can be asked to donate your stem cells.
You can help other people and it is also completely free of charge!
Many donors are needed because the chance that a match will be found is only 1 in 55,000 in native Dutch. If you have a different or mixed background then the chance is even smaller to find a match.
The chance that you can use your own stem cells is increasing. By now, stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used for 80 different syndromes!
Storing stem cells: Research and experiences
Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg of Duke University is working on a clinical trial with regard to Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition where a child has difficulty moving, due to brain damage for the first year of life. In the Netherlands, this affects 1 in 500 newborn babies!
Dr. Kurtzberg is now ready for phase 3 of the research (phase 1 and 2 have been successfully completed). The treatment with body stem cells from umbilical cord blood is extremely successful in this study.
An example of the importance of storing stem cells from the umbilical cord is shown in this video. This girl with Cerebral Palsy has also been treated by Duke University. This video again indicates the importance of storing the stem cells from your baby's umbilical cord!
Investigate other stem cell
Meanwhile, a similar trial has started on the basis of the scientific data for the treatment of autism with stem cells from umbilical cord blood. This condition affects 1 in 500 children and this research is also successful. A Dutch child whose stem cells were stored at stem cell bank Netherlands participates in this study.
Donors are extremely important.But 20 to 50% of the recipients of donor material die from the graft versus host response (reverse rejection disease). That risk is negligible with own stem cells from the umbilical cord.
Stem cells umbilical cord RTL Late night
In this video you can see how stem cells can help people and animals cure certain diseases:
More information about storing stem cells from the umbilical cord
Do you want to store more information about stem cells from the umbilical cord? Unfortunately, you no longer have the choice of storage in the public blood bank, but you can have the stem cells stored for yourself.
Would you like to know more about the costs and conditions? Go to the website of Stamcelbank Nederland and Cryo-Safe.
Also read: Storing stem cells from milk teeth!