TWO KINDS OF UMBILICAL CORD STEM CELLS
The umbilical cord contains two types of stem cells that can be collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord have been cut. The blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic) in the umbilical cord blood and the connective tissue-forming stem cells (mesenchymal) in the umbilical cord tissue.
The hematopoietic stem cells can form red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Umbilical cord blood is the same type of stem cell source as bone marrow.
Mesenchymal stem cells can mature into various types of tissues such as bone, cartilage and fat, making them very interesting for regenerative medicine. They can also normalize the body’s immune system, e.g. suppress an overactive immune system that is the case in autoimmune diseases. Read more about the respective uses here: Stem cells from cord blood and Stem cells from cord tissue
THE UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF UMBILICAL CORD STEM CELLS
Stem cells are unique because they can reproduce themselves by division, while generating more specialized mature cells. By reproducing themselves they retain their immature stage and maintain the level of stem cells in the body. Stem cells can be found in abundance in places like bone marrow and fat tissue, but the younger, more flexible stem cells in the body come from a newborn’s umbilical cord blood and tissue.
Stem cell transplants are performed in Sweden at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, among others.
USE OF UMBILICAL CORD STEM CELLS
Umbilical cord stem cells is being used to treat over 80 serious diseases, such as leukemia and a variety of rare hereditary blood disorders. To date, over 50,000 transplants have been performed with umbilical cord stem cells worldwide. In the treatment of, for example, leukemia, related donors (eg siblings) are used. Sibling donation to treat leukemia is the most common treatment performed with family-stored umbilical cord stem cells.
STEM CELL BANKS
Private stem cell banks have been around for more than 25 years. Currently, there are about 200 private stem cell banks worldwide. In countries with private stem cell banks, between 2-5% of expectant parents choose to collect and store stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue. There are also around 100 public stem cell banks worldwide. The Swedish state has found it economically and medically justified to set up an altruistic donation bank, the National Umbilical cord blood bank (NB). The organisation is funded by the county council, The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund and transplant clinics who request samples from the biobank. Collection in Sweden is only possible at the request of NB, only at the Östra Hospital in Gothenburg and is limited to weekdays. Cellaviva is a complement to this business, there is no competition.
Cellaviva is Sweden’s first private biobank for family saving of stem cells. As of September 1, 2016, we offer expectant parents to collect stem cells from their newborn baby’s cord blood and cord tissue. The stem cells are stored in their own freezer compartment in -196 degrees in liquid nitrogen, in so-called cryo vessels. Cellaviva’s head office is in Novum, Karolinska Institutet Science Park at Karolinska Hospital in Huddinge. We are licensed by the IVO (Inspectorate for Health and Social care), we are subject to the Health and Medical Services Act and the Cell and EU Tissue and Cell Directives.
MAJOR FOCUS ON DEVELOPING NEW TREATMENT METHODS WITH STEM CELLS
Studies of stem cells for the treatment of diseases have grown explosively in recent years and there is no indication that this trend is waning. Currently, the use of these stem cells is evaluated in the treatment of, among other things, reconstruction of cardiac tissue, repair of nerve or spinal cord injuries, healing of connective tissue traumatized in sports injuries, treating MS, CP, ALS, treating autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and creating new organs. The preliminary research results are promising. NextCell Phama, Cellaviva’s research section, is currently conducting 2 clinical studies with the goal of finding a treatment for type 1 diabetes.
Clinical studies investigating the treatment of mesenchymal stem cells in cancer and diseases for the treatment of autoimmune diseases are also current. It is important to emphasize that there are currently few established treatments with mesenchymal stem cells. The parents’ decision to keep these stem cells is thus based on a hope and confidence in medical development.
CELLAVIVA’S PERSONNEL AT THE BIRTH
To fulfill the desire of expectant parents to secure their newborn baby’s stem cells, one of Cellaviva’s personnel will be present at birth. This is to be able to collect stem cells from the umbilical cord just after the umbilical cord have been clamped and cut. Cellaviva’s stemc ell collectors are trained to handle the collection of stem cells. The birth midwife has no responsibility and no obligation in connection with stem cell collections. Cellaviva’s personnel are present at the birth by agreement with the couple and she will act discreetly and with respect for the birth and the work of the hospitals midwife.
STEM CELL COLLECTION FROM THE UMBILICAL CORD CAN ONLY HAPPEN ONCE IN LIFE
Expectant parents who want a family storage of stem cells from their child’s umbilical cord have only one chance – immediately after birth.
Cellaviva’s staff will therefore do their utmost to create the best conditions for a successful stem cell collection, for each parent couple.
We have close contact with our customers who want our help with collection. We strive to be in the hospital well in advance of the birth and cooperate with the hospital’s midwife around the cord clamping and the aftercare phase. We ensure safe and fast transport of the cells to the laboratory. We grow and isolate stem cells in the umbilical cord tissue before freezing, just as when we supply stem cells for clinical studies or for treatment. We work with very high quality standards in all our procedures to ensure a useful family storage.
INTERESTED HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
We experience great interest in stem cell collection, storage and stem cell research from health care professionals when we are out collecting stem cells in the delivery rooms. We would like to tell you more about what we do and about the use of umbilical cord stem cells.
We are happy to talk to healthcare professionals and anyone is very welcome to contact Cellaviva for more information. We are happy to hold information meetings, of course free of charge, on time and place as requested. It can be in the form of a short morning meeting, an information letter to the department, an information meeting for interested parties on an agreed day or in any other way that best suits the department / staff.
Do you have childbirth experience and are interested in working with us? Please contact Cellaviva’s phlebotomist’s closest manager
You are always welcome to contact Cellaviva by phone: 08-735 20 10 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collecting stem cells from umbilical cord and umbilical cord blood is not difficult. The Cellaviva box that the parents bring with them to the birth, contains everything needed for the collection, as well as detailed instructions.
When the baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped, stem cells are collected while the newborn baby lies skin to skin with his mother. It is completely pain- and risk-free and usually takes about 3-5 minutes.
Cellaviva is subject to the Health and Medical Services Act and the Tissue and EU Tissue and Cell Directives. We are the only stem cell bank licensed by the Swedish authorities, the Inspectorate for Health and Social Care (IVO).