Cord blood is the blood found in a newborn baby’s umbilical cord. Cord blood and cord tissue are a rich source of stem cells. Amazingly, these cells can renew themselves and become any of the cell types found in the blood.
What is cord blood? What is it used for?
Stem cells taken from cord blood and cord tissue have been successfully used in the treatment of over 80 life-threatening diseases, including cancers, blood disorders and immune system deficiencies. Medical researchers are continually developing new cord-blood therapies so the number of life-threatening diseases that may respond to cord-blood treatment is expected to continue to rise.
Why collect it?
Parents of a newborn baby may choose to have their baby’s cord blood stem cells collected at the time of birth. The cord blood stem cells can be donated for medical research. They can also be frozen and stored for use in the future by the child or a related family member as part of their treatment against a contracted disease.
How is it collected?
Cord blood and cord tissue can only be collected immediately after a baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut. Instead of the umbilical cord being discarded as medical waste, the blood and tissue can be collected, frozen and stored so that the stem cells may be used in the future for their life-saving capabilities.
There is no risk of harm to the mother or baby during stem cell collection.
Cerebral Palsy Sibling Cord Blood Collection Program
Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology is pleased to be partnering with Cell Care, Australia’s largest and most experienced cord blood and tissue bank, to support research into cord blood as a potential therapy for Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a life-long physical condition that can affect a person’s balance, posture and ability to move and communicate. Cerebral palsy results from injury to the developing brain during pregnancy or around the time of birth, often through stroke, hypoxia (low oxygen) or haemorrhage (bleeding) and is the most common physical disability in childhood. Significant research is underway globally to investigate the potential impact of cord blood as a therapy for children and siblings with cerebral palsy.
Through the program we aim to ensure as many families of children with cerebral palsy as possible have access to potential local and international cord blood trials.
To learn more or register your interest in the program visit cp.cellcare.com.au, contact Cell Care on 1800 071 075, or speak to you obstetrician directly.
What is the program?
In conjunction with obstetric clinics such as Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Cell Care are partnering to provide free collection and storage of cord blood for children with siblings that have been clinically diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
What is the purpose of the Cerebral Palsy Cord Blood Collection Program?
International published trials have investigated the treatment of more than 200 children with cerebral palsy using their own or donated cord blood. These studies have demonstrated the safety and potential efficacy of cord blood treatment in this setting.
Results of a 2012 clinical trial in Korea involving 96 children with cerebral palsy who received cord blood therapy showed exciting results including improvements in both cognitive (mental) and motor (movement) measures. This trial used cord blood from unrelated donors however demonstrated greater benefits for participants who received highly matched cord blood – hence the emphasis of our collection program on collecting cord blood from siblings who have a higher propensity to have an HLA match for children inflicted with Cerebral Palsy.
Need more information?
Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology has an established association with the following cord blood banks:
Cell Care – Australia’s largest cord blood and tissue bank. Cell Care is Australian owned, has stored for parents of over 20,000 babies and undertakes extensive involvement in stem cell therapy clinical trials. Cell Care offers a $40,000 product commitment on its cord blood and tissue storage. For more information visit www.cellcare.com.au or call 1800 071 075.
Cell Care offers GSOG clients a $200 voucher in recognition of the research partnership in place.
Further information on stem cell research and medical advances in this area is available here:
- Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation
- Science Therapy: Stem cells to be used to treat heart conditions
- CBS news report: Stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy