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Stem Cells and Lymphoma

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
DH and I had not intended to bank our baby's cord blood. However I found out last week that my cousin has lymphoma and it's pretty aggressive. I know stem cells are useful in treating this type of cancer but I'm not really that educated on the whole stem cell thing.
#1. Will it hurt the baby if they extract the cord blood?
#2. My cousin is a grown woman (in her early 50's) so would it
Even be useful to her at all? ( I heard there are not a lot
of stem cells in cord blood and it's mostly for the use of
children?)
I'm really kind of torn over this because if there is some way that I could possibly help her to combat this invasive disease and I do nothing about it, I don't think I could live with myself... but at the same time I want what is best for my baby first and foremost.
post #2 of 11
First off, hugs to you and your cousin.

No, it is highly unlikely that your cousin could use your baby's stem cells to cure her cancer. My understanding of they type of stem cells used to treat non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas are extracted from the patients own bone marrow.
I don't know about Hodgkin's though, I think that may be only bone marrow transplant. It doesn't hurt your baby to have their cord blood extracted, it comes from the side of the cord attached to the placenta.

Just a small off topic FYI: this cancer is linked to herbicides and pesticides they currently use on our food in the USA and the incidences of this type of cancer is up 75% over th last 25 years. Another reason to eat and buy organic.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good info. I just feel so bad for her and wanted to make sure that if there was any way I could be of help, I at least try.

I'm all for organic foods... as a matter of fact, I plan on either buying the organic baby foods when the time comes or making my own baby food. That way I know exactly what's in it!
post #4 of 11
As far as if it would hurt the babe... it depends on your view of cord blood at birth. I'm a HUGE supporter of not cutting the cord until it stops pulsing to make sure that the baby gets all the blood transferred from the placenta that s/he needs, less chance of jaundice, etc. With cbb, the cord is clamped immediately after birth so that more cord blood can be retrieved and stored.

I asked a friend of ours (has 3 kids, oldest had leukemia when he was still pre-school aged) if, with her history and everything, they would bank cord blood right now. She said absolutely not. Her reasoning is that the technology is still really new and there hasn't been much studied as far as how long the cells stay "good" and usable to their fullest potential with the freezing. Plus (my own comment, not hers), the banks practically bankrupt you with their charges for storage. I'm not putting a price on the health and life of a loved one, but there is no WAY that we could afford storage for even a year - let alone a lifetime!
post #5 of 11
It definitely does not hurt the baby to extract the cord blood. We donated our daughter's cord blood in honor of our dear friend who passed away from cancer shortly before her birth. He had been on an experimental treatment derived from stem cells. I hope that the cord blood we gave will eventually help find a cure.

We also are firm believers in letting the cord stop pulsing before cutting the cord. I want my child to receive the benefits of those stem cells too. We were still able to donate stem cells so this is another option for you!
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandasz
We also are firm believers in letting the cord stop pulsing before cutting the cord. I want my child to receive the benefits of those stem cells too. We were still able to donate stem cells so this is another option for you!
I'm pretty sure you found the rare cord blood bank that will let you wait for the cord to stop pulsing. We had no desire to bank my son's blood, but I was willing to donate it. I checked with three different banks and all said that the cord would have to be clamped immediately. When I said that we were going to be waiting for it to stop pulsing on its own, they each told me they would not be able to harvest "enough" blood for them to want to collect it.
post #7 of 11
According to the rep at Cord Blood Registry you do NOT have to clamp the cord immediately. You can wait 5 and even up to 10 minutes before clamping and still get enough blood to bank. I urge you to speak directly with a blood bank to get your answers.
post #8 of 11
They attempt to collect as much blood as possible so the sooner they clamp it the better it is in terms of volume. The rep I spoke with said that people can definitely wait until it stops pulsing but that is not great since you'll be able to bank less. They require 40ccs of blood minimum, and teh average they collect is 75-80ccs - this is about 5-10 minutes after birth. If you wait until the cord stops pulsing altogether it could be less than the minimum 40ccs but you can wait until it stops most of the way.

I also spoke with my midwife about this issue - her take was that throughout history they have never waited until the cord stopped pulsing but typically cut it immediately after birth. She pointed out that there were not rampantly high cases of anemia from cutting immediately.

I definitely recommend speaking with a bank directly about your cousin and the length of time you can wait to clamp.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley1972
According to the rep at Cord Blood Registry you do NOT have to clamp the cord immediately. You can wait 5 and even up to 10 minutes before clamping and still get enough blood to bank. I urge you to speak directly with a blood bank to get your answers.
I did... it's been almost 18 months, but I'm sure I have the info in my pregnancy journal... I spoke to people at three different banks, as I said in my response above.

I'm not trying to argue with you - I'm glad it worked out for you. I'm just telling you what I was told when I did call before my son was born.
post #10 of 11
Genevieve I am sorry that you got that information. Rachel - please call Adam LaCarrubba, the person who just answered this exact question for me at Cord Blood Registry at 800-588-6377 Ext. 254. I am sure he will be happy to answer this question for you too. He assured me that you can wait up to 10 minutes before clamping the cord and still have enough blood to bank. This amount of time will probably not allow it to stop pulsing completely but most of the way.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley1972
Genevieve I am sorry that you got that information. Rachel - please call Adam LaCarrubba, the person who just answered this exact question for me at Cord Blood Registry at 800-588-6377 Ext. 254. I am sure he will be happy to answer this question for you too. He assured me that you can wait up to 10 minutes before clamping the cord and still have enough blood to bank. This amount of time will probably not allow it to stop pulsing completely but most of the way.
Thank you so much for the number and contact info... I'm going to call in a few minutes... I have spoken to my cousin and expressed to her that if possible I would like to try and help her, but like a pp stated it's very costly and wasn't sure if I could handle the entire expense. She said, if the doctors think it would benefit her she'll pay for all of it... She's pretty well off so I know she has the financial capability.

Once again, thanks to all the mommas who responded. This is such a tough time.
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