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Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Preservation

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What are the prospects for its future use?

Given the intense research and development in this area, the potential of stem cell use is increasing day by day. The most interesting developments are in regenerative medicine, in fighting various cancers and also in the treatment of different various types of genetic diseases.

Is the extraction of cells painful?

No. This process is very simple, without risk or pain to both mother and baby. It is carried out once the baby is born and when it has already been separated from the mother.

How are the samples transported to the laboratory?

After extraction, the cells are transported in a sterile collection bag, packed in special packaging to ensure that the sample is kept at optimal temperature levels to ensure a better cell quality. They are transported to our laboratory in Madrid and processed within 48 hours.

Maintaining a temperature between 4 º and 10 º C during transport helps to protect cell viability, and avoids exposing the SCU to temperatures above 22 º C, especially in the warmer months of the year. Transportation between 4 and 10 ° C ensures a higher quality of sample to be cryopreserved. In addition, Sanitas follow the recommendations of the National SCU, published by the ONT in March 2008.

How are they cryo-preserved?

The cells are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen tanks at a temperature of -196 º C, where they remain stable and are indefinitely frozen until needed.

Why does Sanitas only recommend saving the SCU that have at least 400 million nucleated cells?

We believe that below this level of cells, the sample is not useful for transplantation. At the current time, there is no technique of "cellular expansion" to increase that number to ensure the success of transplantation of UCB when the initial cell count is low.

According to the National Cord Blood and Netcord, it is necessary that the stored sample has 20 million nucleated cells per kg, in order to be used for a transplant. For example, 400 million could be used to treat a child who weighs 20 kg.

The clinical use of the SCU is negligible if the number of nucleated cells does not exceed at least this minimum. Furthermore, the cells should not be preserved if the child has any type of virus. If the contamination was caused by bacteria, cells will still be cryopreserved and the parents informed, as bacterial contamination can generally be resolved through the use of antibiotics at the time of an eventual transplant.

What if the cells cannot be cryopreserved?

The parents will be advised and they only will be charged for the cost of the collection kit.

When can a collection kit be ordered?

To avoid problems caused by a premature delivery and to give parents more time to become familiar with the process, the Sanitas collection kit must be requested at least 1 month, preferably 2 months before delivery. However, it may be requested at any time, if necessary.

What tests will I need?

The mother should have tests for HIV I and II, Hepatitis B and C, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and syphilis (most of these tests will already have been undertaken during the first trimester of the pregnancy, and a copy of these results will be sufficient). We also recommend f HTLV I and II tests as an extra precaution. These tests should be performed at least two months before birth and again four months later.

Who carries the cells to the laboratory?

After extraction, the cells are transported to the laboratory by a courier company. You simply call the number listed in the extraction kits and we will send a team and express courier to pick it up at the hospital to ensure that it will be processed within 48 hours.

What happens when you reach the end of the cryo preservation period?

At the end of the cryo preservation period, we will contact the parents of the child (or adult depending on the length of preservation chosen) to decide whether to continue to preserve the stored material. If necessary, you will then sign a new maintenance contract for the next preservation period.

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