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Tag Archive: cord tissue

  1. Can I Delay Cord Clamping and Bank Umbilical Cord Blood?

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    Delayed cord clamping has been linked to health benefits for both mother and baby. But what does this mean for umbilical cord blood collection and transplantation?

    Is it possible to enjoy the best of both worlds?

    Stem Cell Scientists from Biovault and University College London, as well as the Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, believe that it is. Here they review the challenge and offer their expert insights into optimum umbilical cord blood storage with minimal compromise.

    Delayed umbilical cord clamping: definition

    Delayed umbilical cord clamping is defined as the “interruption of the blood supply between cord and infant after more than one minute postpartum” by Lindsey Parker et al in their paper published this week by BioInsights.¹ This follows The World Health Organisation (WHO) who recommend delayed clamping, “not earlier than 1 min after birth… for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes.”²

    Benefits of delayed cord clamping for full-term babies

    Delayed clamping allows blood to flow between the placenta and the newborn baby after birth for a period of 1-3 minutes. This prolonged access to blood from the placenta and umbilical cord may increase the baby’s iron stores for up to six months, reducing the risk of iron deficiency anaemia.

    In randomised controlled trials:

    • scientists found no difference in mortality or admission to intensive care between those with delayed or early umbilical cord clamping (1675 full-term infants)
    • studies of 954 infants found no significant difference between the rates of anaemia in full-term babies at  3-6 months of age with delayed or early clamping
    • a higher incidence of iron-deficiency was associated with early clamping in studies of 1152 infants at 3-6 months

    WHO notes that these findings are particularly relevant for “infants living in low-resource settings with reduced access to iron-rich foods.”²

    Benefits of delayed cord clamping for pre-term babies

    In studies of 668 pre-term babies, no difference was found in the risk of infant mortality. However, babies born pre-term benefitted most from delayed clamping, with a 39% reduction in the need for blood transfusion for anaemia or low blood pressure.²

    Maternal benefits of delayed cord clamping

    In a recently updated review of over 2000 women, no significant differences were found in the rates of severe postpartum haemorrhage ( >100ml) or postpartum haemorrhage (>500ml) between groups with early or delayed clamping times.²

    Umbilical cord blood banking: the benefits

    Umbilical cord blood is a source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The transplantation of HSCs is an established treatment for leukaemias, lymphomas, multiple sclerosis, metabolic diseases and numerous disorders of blood cell proliferation, including sickle cell disease and Fanconi’s anaemia.

    Umbilical cord blood can be stored and used to treat the donor child or any other compatible patient. In the case of privately stored blood, HSCs may be used to treat a sibling or other family member with a blood cancer or disorder.

    Umbilical cord blood HSCs offer an alternative to peripheral blood and bone marrow stem cells and have advantages over both. The collection of cord blood is quick, non-invasive and painless, and the HSCs are generally healthier and in higher numbers than those sourced from older donors. Since the first transplant of umbilical cord blood HSCs in 1988, it is estimated that over 35,000 umbilical cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide.

    Infant and maternal health: weighing up the options

    In a recent study, The Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood Foundation examined the effect of delayed cord clamping on the “volume and pre-processed total nucleated cell count based on the length of time clamping is delayed.” The findings from this study were presented at the 15th International Cord Blood Symposium, and published in the journal Transfusion

    Over a 4 month period, data collection cards for more than 2,000 families were completed by medical professionals who performed cord blood collections for ViaCord. On the cards, medical professionals indicated if delayed clamping was performed, as well as the duration of the delay. These were categorised as:  no delayyes <1 minuteyes 1-3 minutesyes > 3 minutes and yes time unknown.

    The cord blood collections were then measured for initial cord blood volume and pre-processed TNC counts. The data collected over the four months were averaged to evaluate the impact delayed clamping had on the cord blood collections. Below are the findings.

    Whilst both cord blood volumes and pre-processed TNT counts decline as delay increases, the results show that delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking can coexist. The Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood Foundation suggests that “parents planning to collect and bank their cord blood need to discuss and weigh the value of optimising cord blood collection versus potential benefits of delayed cord clamping with their medical professional. For example, if a parent knows that the cord blood they’ll be collecting from their baby will be used in a sibling donor situation then delayed clamping should be avoided.”

     

    ¹ EXPERT INSIGHT: Advances and challenges in umbilical cord blood and tissue bioprocessing: procurement and storage, Lindsey Parker, Shaun Mansfield, Kate Sneddon, Ben Charles and Qasim A. Rafiq (August 2017)

    ² Guideline: Delayed umbilical cord clamping for improved maternal and infant health and nutrition outcomes, World Health Organisation.

    ³ Does Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping Impact Family Banked Cord Blood? Kate Falcon Girard RN MSN, Asimena Rigas Bridges, Jessica Bishop, Morey Kraus (July 2017)

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

  2. Why Bank Umbilical Cord Tissue?

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    We’re familiar with the idea of cord blood banking and have read countless stories of the lives saved and enhanced by cord blood stem cell transplants. But why do Biovault Family offer umbilical cord tissue banking? Stem cells from cord tissue are not yet used therapeutically, so why are more and more families choosing to store umbilical cord blood and tissue?

    What’s special about umbilical cord tissue?

    The umbilical cord usually contains two arteries and one vein, protected by a thick gelatinous substance called Wharton’s Jelly. Wharton’s Jelly is packed with Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and like the Haematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) in cord blood, MSCs can renew and differentiate to create new specialist cell types.

    What’s even more exciting is that whereas HSCs develop into blood cells and can treat blood and immunological diseases, MSCs differentiate into tissues, such as bone, nerve, tendon and muscle. Doctors hope that in the future MSCs will be used to regenerate damaged and diseased tissue, treating diseases and conditions that we currently think of as life-limiting or even fatal.

    It is estimated that more than 450 clinical trials are now evaluating MSCs as part of a therapeutic intervention. (Matthew L. Skiles, PhD, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Cbr Systems, Inc)

    Which conditions could be treated?

    With so many clinical trials underway, the potential for umbilical cord blood and tissue to help and to heal is enormous. Stem Cell Scientists are currently investigating treatments for:

    • Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Autism
    • Bone Fractures
    • Brain Injury
    • Burns
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Diabetes
    • Hearing Loss
    • Heart Attack
    • Liver Disease
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Parkinson’s Disease
    • Spinal Cord Injury
    • Stroke

    What about bone marrow and other sources of stem cells?

    MSCs are usually collected from bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue for medical use, though MSCs are found in many body tissues. The problem is that MSCs are less numerous and function less well when they are collected from adults. Scientists have proven that MSCs from newborn umbilical and placental tissue are more plentiful and more resistant to viruses and toxins and believe that MSCs collected at the time of birth may be “advantageous for future clinical applications.” (1)

    How is cord tissue collected?

    Umbilical cord tissue collection couldn’t be easier. After the baby is born and the cord is clamped, a trained doctor, midwife or phlebotomist collects the cord blood and/or tissue sample and stores them in a specially designed container. The collection kit is them delivered by courier to our laboratory where it is carefully labelled for processing and storage by our stem cell scientists.

    If you have any questions about cord blood and tissue storage and treatment please get in touch with our friendly team here

    References

    1. Quantitative analysis of composite umbilical cord tissue health using a standardized explant approach and an assay of metabolic activity. Matthew L. Skiles, Katherine S. Brown, William Tatz, Kristen Swingle, Heather L. Brown. February 08, 2018. http://www.celltherapyjournal.org/article/S1465-3249(18)30006-9/fulltext
    2. Batsali, A.K. and Kastrinaki, M.C. Mesenchymal stem cells derived from Wharton’s Jelly of the umbilical cord: biological properties and emerging clinical applications. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther20138144–155
    3. Verter, F. and Couto, P.S. Survey of how cord blood banks process cord tissue. ICBS ABSTRACTS.Transfusion2016561A–12ADOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/trf.13686

    MSC image source: http://icm.web.ym.edu.tw/files/16-1235-12356.php

    BSc (Hons) Microbiology

    Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

    Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.