Biovault Family will open its laboratory doors to celebrate World Cord Blood Day
We will be welcoming visitors to our Plymouth laboratories this November to celebrate the inaugural World Cord Blood Day.
On 15th November events will be taking place all over the world, from Geneva to Jerusalem, Singapore to Seattle, to promote awareness of the life-saving benefits of umbilical cord blood.
The tour offered by Biovault Family is a rare opportunity for members of the public to talk to stem cell scientists about their work and to see stem cell science in action.
Cord blood is already used to treat more than 80 life-threatening diseases such as leukaemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anaemia. It is also proving critical to new areas of regenerative medicine to potentially treat spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, autism, type-one diabetes and many more conditions that are currently untreatable.
Despite these successes and the clinical need for cord blood stem cells, cord blood is still routinely thrown away as medical waste.
Biovault Family is the most accredited cord blood bank in Europe and offers expectant parents a trusted cord blood and tissue banking service, but their most immediate concern is education: “We want to spread the word.” says Biovault Family’s CEO, stem cell scientist and mum, Kate Sneddon, “We release tissue and stem cell samples to the NHS from our labs on a weekly basis that save and enhance lives. We hope that people will be interested in visiting us to find out more and that one day all expectant parents will have the choice to bank cord blood.”
This is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta following the birth of a baby and clamping of the umbilical cord. Cord blood contains stem cells similar to those found in bone marrow. Cord blood can be easily collected after birth, processed and stored for future use. Find out more here.
Cord blood stem cells have been used in more than 35,000 transplants so far. Cord blood stem cells can be used to treat a range of over 80 blood disorders such as leukaemia, sickle cell disease, and Fanconi’s anaemia. Research and clinical trials are also underway to utilise cord blood stem cells in the treatment of many other diseases, for example, cerebral palsy. Find out more here.
How likely is my child to need his or her own stem cells?
During a lifetime of 70 years, the likelihood of a person requiring a transplant of their own or another’s stem cells has been estimated at 1 in 217*
* Reference: JJ Nietfield, MC Pasquini, BR Logan, F.Verter, MM Horowitz Lifetime Probabilities of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in the U.S.Published in Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2008;14:316-322
Yes, in some cases, the stem cells collected are a match and can be used to treat siblings and parents.
Donated units have to be matched to the recipient; therefore even an international search may result in no match.
You can find out more about World Cord Blood day here.