- 1. What is cord blood?
- Cord blood is the blood remaining in the placenta and attached umbilical cord after childbirth - both which are normally discarded. Significant research now shows that cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells which can be used in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for a variety of diseases. Cord blood is now considered to be one of the most important hematopoietic stem cell sources, especially for those without a family related blood hematopoietic stem cell source.
- 2. What is the purpose of collecting cord blood?
- Cord blood hematopoietic stem cells are used for hematologic system diseases and immunodeficiency disease treatments, including ALL, AML, CLL, CML, ML, AA, SCID, MEDITERANEAN ANEMIA, and MEUROBLASTOMA etc. The medical adoption of cord blood as a primary therapy is significantly rising in the U.S. and in Europe, and multiple clinical trials are underway to expand the medical use for a variety of genetic diseases, blood based cancers, brain ischemia and cerebral palsy. Fortis Healthcare and TotipotentRX are actively conducting advanced research into new treatments using cord blood cells.
- 3. Can cord blood be preserved?
- Yes, it can. The original processing and preservation methodologies were developed in the U.S. by the New York Blood Center, and The U.S. National Institute of Health completed a long term study of this method to ensure it provides the quality required for healthcare use.
- 4. Why use a family cord blood bank?
- Cord blood hematopoietic stem cells can be used instead of bone marrow in stem cell transplantation commonly referred to as bone marrow transplant. Cord blood transplantation is used for many types of serious disease, and has the curative effects of bone marrow, but fewer side affects and is more universally compatible for transplant if required by any of the family members. The better compatibility is related to the requirement for the necessity of doctors to match proteins on the cell surface called HLA markers.
While bone marrow requires a six (6) point HLA match between donor and patient, cord blood transplants have been successful with as few as four (4) point HLA matches. This significantly increases the odds that a family banked cord blood unit is biological insurance for the entire family.
- 5. Why preserve cord blood for your child?
- Cord blood carries the baby's blood based cells including stem cells at their most natural unchanged form. Science has now shown that Cord blood is useful for a variety of serious disease treatments and there are over 500 clinical trials being conducted worldwide on new disease targets. When you bank your baby's cord blood it remains ready to use at the direction of your medical doctor, is completely compatible with the baby, the transplantation success is significantly improved, and the curative fees are relatively cheaper. Another reason for preservation is that cord blood can be used for other family members, is securely banked as new medical targets are discovered , and serves as a high value medicine today for blood based cancers. The child is the continuum of our life, please cherish life and preserve the cord blood for him/her.
- 6. What is the classification of NovaCord?
- NovaCord is licensed by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, and operates in our Fortis hospital facility accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI).
- 7. How long can cord blood be preserved?
- According to the existing data, cord blood hematopoietic stem cell has been safely preserved under cryopreservation for more than ten years. The history of cord blood preservation is nearly twenty years till now, in theory, it can be preserved for a long time. NovaCord uses the world's most advanced preservation technology, and has integrated controls and alarms for ensuring continuity of quality and storage over many years.
- 8. When is the best moment to collect cord blood?
- The only option for cord blood collection is when the baby is born. You will receive a collection kit prior to your delivery date. All the essential devices and paperwork are included in this kit. Simply give it to the nursing staff prior to entering the delivery suite. The actual cord blood and cord tissue will be collected by a professional doctor or nurse, and the procedure of collection will not affect either the mother or baby.
- 9. How long does it take to send the collected cord blood to NovaCord? And how to preserve the cord blood before that?
- Cord blood is safely preserved between 4-24oC in the environment, and NovaCord or it's authorized courier will pick up the unit from the hospital within twenty four hours.
- 10. How does NovaCord preserve the stem cells?
- After NovaCord receives the collected cord blood unit, our professional staff will check all the documents and log the unit into our data base, then the cord blood will be transferred to the highly controlled laboratory where the stem cells will be processed, tested, and a freezing stabilization reagent added. The concentrated stem cells are then carefully cooled using a controlled freezing technology and finally preserved in -196oC liquid nitrogen in our GMP cryogenic room.
Chain of custody is always controlled with two staff members checking each critical step to ensure the cord blood bar code serial number is accurately matched to the records. Every test result also has two staff members review for compliance to our internal and governmental guidelines. All of our liquid nitrogen long term storage tanks are equipped with a computer monitoring system and an auto alarm system. Therefore, the cord blood preservation is always and absolutely secure until the time the family may need the unit.
- 11. What is the difference between cord blood transplantation and bone marrow?
- Should the baby require a bone marrow transplant, the physician can decide that the baby's cord blood may be a very good option. This always depends on the type of cancer, and if this requirement ever presents itself, please notify your physician that you have banked a cord blood unit. Research is also underway to expand the cord blood cells for use in adults. Since cord blood has many favorable points over bone marrow, medicine hopes that we can find ways to grow a suitable therapeutic dose for the adult body size.
- 12. What are the steps for signing up?
- The expecting parents can contact NovaCord directly or speak with your physician. Our consulting scientist will be available to answer any of your questions. Before the expected date of childbirth, the customer will need to sign the contract, pay the fees and receive the collection kit. Upon arrival to the birthing hospital, the mother or father should call NovaCord and give us the full details of the hospital name, the expected date of childbirth, the room number and leave a contact number.
The mother should give the collection bag to the obstetric doctor and give immediate notice to NovaCord once she is ready going into labour. A family member must call NovaCord to pick up the collected cord blood once the collection is completed. NovaCord will pick up the cord blood within twenty four hours, and send it to our Fortis Laboratory. Within sixty days after the collection, NovaCord will send the cord blood processing and test results to the client family.