Cord Blood – Private Banking vs Public Donation

As a private stem cell bank, one of the most common questions we get asked is what the likelihood of needing to use banked stem cells?  While we sincerely hope that the need for a stem cell transplant never arises for our clients, at any given time, over 1,600 people in the UK alone are waiting for a match to be found so they can receive a stem cell transplant.

According to Cancer Research UK, each year there are 4,000 new Myeloma cases and 2,500 deaths, 11,000 Lymphoma diagnoses, resulting in 4,000 deaths and 7,000 Leukaemia cases causing another 4,000 deaths.

Since 1988, umbilical cord blood derived stem cell transplants have been a major weapon in the treatment of blood cancers.  The NHS recognises the value of cord blood in such treatments and has formed the NHS Cord Blood Bank.

In his recent post on politics.co.uk (on 1st February 2011) David Burrows MP (Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate) states that a national bank would only have to maintain a supply of 50,000 cord blood units to meet the needs of patients awaiting a donor match.

In order to avoid rejection, a close tissue match is required and the speed of locating that match can affect the success of transplant.  That is the main reason many parents opt to store their baby’s cord blood for their own child’s future autologous use.

With approximately 700,000 births in the UK every year, it is extremely unlikely that the individuals who opt to bank their baby’s cord blood privately will affect the number of donated units available for public use via the NHS Cord Blood Bank.  After all, a total 50,000 units represents only 7% of the annual births in the UK, and with scientific evidence now demonstrating that cryogenically preserved stem cells are still viable after at least 30 years, it is extremely unlikely that these units will be withdrawn at the same rate as they are donated!

At Precious Cells, we firmly believe in an individual’s right to choose.  More important, however, is our belief that whether that individual chooses to bank privately or not, that the incredibly precious stem cells found in cord blood should not, as happens now, be discarded as medical waste.

Find out more about Cord Blood banking options at www.precious-cells.com

Posted in Cord Blood Banking, Cord blood donation, pregnancy advice, Pregnancy Guide, Stem Cell Banking, Stem cell treatments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome

Welcome to the first edition of Precious Cells’ brand new blog.  As an organisation primarily concerned with our customers’ future health and well-being, we are incredibly proud to be the first true ‘family’ stem cell bank.  By that, we mean that we are providing the opportunity to store stem cells not only at birth, but through childhood and into adulthood too.

There are already over 100 ailments that can be successfully treated with stem cells, and with over 5,000 on-going clinical trials around the world, we are in no doubt that regenerative medicine will revolutionise healthcare in the coming years.

But, as a company staffed by medical and scientific experts, we are also passionate about your current health and well-being.  And that’s what this blog is all about.  We have asked 3 of our team to make regular contributions on a variety of health-related subjects, including: pregnancy and childbirth, dentistry and to comment on advances in stem cell medicine.

Here is a little information on each of our ‘panel’…

Dr Husein Salem, BSc PhD. Dr. Salem is our resident expert on all things stem cell related.  He has spent the best part of his career researching how translational medicine using cellular therapy can be used to treat a range of diseases.  The years spent in some of the UK’s most elite academic research centres prompted him to form Precious Cells.

Dr Nisreen Salem, BDS MJDF RCS (Eng).  Dr Nisreen is our dentist.  She graduated from Kings College London, and has recently acquired the much coveted MJDF qualifications. After spending time training in general practice, Dr Nisreen developed a particular interest in oral surgery where she worked in the maxillofacial department.

Dr Qusai Arsiwala, M.B.B.S BSc (Hons).  Dr Q is our resident doctor who qualified from the prestigious Guy’s Kings and St Thomas’ School of Medicine and has gone on to work at teaching hospitals across London. His experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology together with Paediatrics has given him first-hand experience of the clinical practicalities, scope and opportunities that stem cell banking offers.

Pregnancy, childbirth and parenting are wonderful experiences but are also filled with many questions and concerns.  Our team of healthcare professionals aim to use their clinical experience and medical backgrounds to address these.

Dr. Q will be writing a month-by-month guide to pregnancy.  Dr. Nisreen will be tackling all your questions about paediatric dentistry and Dr. Salem will offer clear and understandable commentary on exciting developments in the field of stem cell treatments.

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter, and sign-up here.   And let us know if there is a particular topic you would like to see covered here.

Precious Cells is the world’s first Family Stem Cell Bank and the only one able to collect and store stem cells from 5 sources in the body and from a range of age groups, from new-born to 40 years.  Go to our website for more information.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Cord Blood Banking, dentistry, pregnancy advice, Pregnancy Guide, Stem Cell Banking, Stem cell treatments | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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