What are you doing? Do you have opinions? Experiences?
It seems like the big pros/cons: Cord blood: con - very very very low chance that child or sibling will need it pro - if child or sibling needs it, it could be life-saving, and has been proven to be in many cases over the last 10-20 years Cord tissue: con - purely in a research stage, it's not clear how useful the stem cells from cord tissue will be, or when they'll be usable pro - medical technology keeps advancing, and the potential conditions that tissue stem cells could treat are actually more common conditions than the ones blood stem cells typically treat
Of course, those pros/cons don't help all that much. It all just seems so uncertain - there aren't even good estimates of the probabilities...
Rose (31) DH (32). TTC for over 2 years, 4 fresh IVFs plus 2 FETs. BFP 11/26. Ultrasounds show 1 fetus.
with DS I really wanted to do cord blood banking and just didn't. I'm not sure why. I want to do it this time, but I will have a guilt feeling of, I didn't do it for DS, so what if something happens to him? I know cord blood can help siblings too, but maybe not. There is an annual fee (similar to storing embryos) and I suppose that is what deterred me from doing it?
Definitely something to think about!! Good question Rose!
Sarah(36) DH(36) IVF/ICSI 1 DS Kooper(3), IVF/ICSI 2 m/c at 9.5 weeks, IVF/ICSI 3 BFN, FET of 1 hatching blast EDD 11-20-11. Yellow team!
Good question Rose. I was going to eventually ask this question too.
I'm really interested in doing it, but mostly because my Dad worked in research at the big University here and not because I think we're going to need it. We recently got the info on it and I'm leaning towards not doing it. The annual storage fee isn't to bad, but the up front costs are something we can't really afford. It's feels like a really expensive insurance policy for something that has so little chance of actually being needed. Most of the stuff it treats, I've never heard of before and realistically, I don't see the odds of my child needing it to be very high. I also found their anecdotes interesting, because all of them centered around people who HAD a reason to do it when they did it. The examples of people who did it and needed it were people who had a sick kid while Mom was PG or a kid had been sick before was in remission, Mom got PG and they decided to play it safe in case the kid got sick again, which he did. In both examples, I would have done it too without thinking about it. They didn't provide any examples of someone who thought "hey! I'm just going to do it because I feel it's the right thing to do" and then needed it. And you're right, there are no stats on the probability of getting any of those diseases. So my real interest is the research prospect of it, so I may ask if there's a program where the cost can be split and I agree to giving up half of the blood/tissue. Maybe contact the local U and see if they're interested in something like that. But I don't know if I'll actually take that initiative and I suspect I'll be told no anyway.
I asked my OB her opinion on the matter and she said, if you can afford it, you should do it. We planned on banking both babies' blood, but they weren't able to get Baby A's due to a timing issue. (that was Austin) We were able to bank Abigial's. It is definitely an insurance policy that we are happy to pay for and would be even happier if we never have to use it. Some dr's offices have brochures in their waiting rooms about different banks that offer good deals. Keep an eye out if you're interested.
- Sarah(27): boy/girl twins born 11/9; BFP from FET
Hey Rose. I was just doing some research online about my hospital and their birthing center.
They had a section on cord blood donation. If you choose to donate your cord blood, the service is completely free. They said if someone in my family needs the cord blood and it's still available, it could be used for my family. Just thought I'd pass the info on in case you were still thinking about this.
A $12 million, five-year grant is helping Texas Medical Center researchers improve the use of cord blood — taken from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby's birth — to treat cancer patients. The grant from the National Cancer Institute is funding cord-blood research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and The Methodist Hospital. "Umbilical cord blood transplantation provides a life-saving option for hematologic cancer patients who need a blood stem-cell transplant but cannot be matched to a donor," said Elizabeth Shpall, M.D., professor of stem-cell transplantation at MD Anderson. Shpall is co-principal investigator on the grant along with Catherine Bollard, M.D., associate professor of pediatric hematology and oncology, immunology, and medicine at Baylor, and a member of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy. Cord blood replenishes the different kinds of blood cells killed during the potent chemotherapy used to eliminate diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma — all forms of cancer. Even when a match is not perfect, cord blood can still be used because its immature immune cells are unlikely to attack the patient's tissues. Because cord blood does not have to be closely matched to the blood of the recipient, it's possible to give cord blood to large numbers of patients, Bollard said. "This is important for patients who cannot find a related donor or sibling," she explained, "and especially for minority populations whose chances of finding a matched, unrelated donor on a bone-marrow transplant registry are very low. Cord blood transplantation is the only cure for many patients with cancers of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma." But co-investigator Shpall warned that there are not only advantages, but also disadvantages, to using cord blood. "Units of cord blood are usually low-volume, which makes it difficult for the cells to grow in the patient," she said. "That might mean that the transplant does not take." To expand the number of blood stem cells harvested from an umbilical cord, Shpall is working with Paul Simmons, Ph.D., on a technique that grows umbilical cord blood stem cells on a bed of supportive stem cells called mesenchymal stromal cells discovered by Simmons, who is an adjunct professor at MD Anderson and former director of the Center for Stem Cell Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. A clinical trial of the use of these cells in transplantation is under way. And Bollard, with her MD Anderson colleagues, has developed a method to expand cord blood T-cells that are trained to kill the viruses that can infect patients after transplant. A clinical trial of this approach is also taking place now. The researchers also will study the use of cord blood-derived T-cells that target leukemia and lymphoma to prevent relapse after cord blood transplantation. "These are all major hurdles we are trying to overcome," Bollard said, "in an effort to treat larger numbers of adult and childhood patients."
Wow, I can't believe my question from 2 years ago is still active! Well, in case anyone is curious, we decided to bank the cord blood, but not cord tissue. When we did our hospital tour before DS was born, the nurse told us that they were using babies' cord blood stem cells to help moms who had breast cancer at that very hospital. (We used CBR which is one of the big ones.)
Rose (31) DH (32). TTC for over 2 years, 4 fresh IVFs plus 2 FETs. BFP 11/26/10. EDD 8/3/11.
Hello Rosecam, how was your experience with CBR? I've had different, smaller private storage facility recommended to me, but I'm looking into all private storage possibilities. Thanks so much for any insight you have! Katelyn.
Hey everyone, in the spirit of sharing information, I wanted to tell everyone else who might be searching for a private storage facility that my husband and I have happily decided on Genecord. They're considerably less expensive than most other private facilities, and they've simply been great. I hope every else is having similar experiences! Thanks again, Katelyn.
Yes! We used Genecord too!! They were incredible, certainly less expensive than the "big" companies out there. We really got a good feel for their culture - the staff really cares and was there to answer any questions we had. I would also highly suggest downloading their iPhone app if you haven't already packed the hospital bag (believe it is at www.genecord.com/app), it was really helpful.
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