Cord blood banking industry flourishes

Tags:
1. May 3, 2004

Staff: Mentor

I didn't realize an industry was being so aggresively developed around this.

But many say companies are exploiting parents' paranoia

NEW YORK - When Marla Dalton was expecting, she read the pregnancy magazines, picked up pamphlets at her doctor’s office and logged on to mom-centric Web sites and chat rooms. In the process, she was inundated by marketing imploring her to privately store her twins’ umbilical cord blood.

Was this really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture blood rich with stem cells that could potentially save the twins or a family member from serious diseases and conditions, she wondered. Was it was worth the collection and processing fees, many ranging from $1,000 to$1,740 per child? Plus a likely \$95 annual storage fee.

“It was really stressful. The marketing makes you feel guilty,” the 41-year old engineer said. “There is this feeling that if you don’t do it, you are not doing something to save your child’s life.”

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4702857/

2. May 3, 2004

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Well, it will all be useless if the US Gov't doesn't allow scientists to proceed with human stem cell research! Friends of mine stored their baby's cord blood. I don't know what they paid, but they said it wasn't much and viewed it the way one views insurance...you hope you never need it, but wouldn't want to kick yourself later if you did need it and didn't save it. I look at it as one of the least controversial areas of stem-cell usage. If someone finds a way to develop therapies from cord blood stem cells, then who can really argue with using one's own umbilical cord as a source of treatment?

3. May 3, 2004

Staff: Mentor

I'm 100% for stem cell research. Are there any controls in place to assure someone that the cord blood is being properly stored and handled? It looks like some not so reliable companies may be trying to get rich quick off of this.

It appears that you can also donate cord blood to a public bank. I can't imagine anyone not willing to do this if they do not plan to store it themselves.

4. May 3, 2004

Loren Booda

I recall there also being a use for otherwise discarded foreskins after circumcision on baby boys. First they're spat out, spanked, branded with a belly button, then soon sliced within an inch of their future manhood!

5. May 4, 2004

Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Evo, I had some of the same questions. What's to say these companies don't just go out of business and defrost their freezers? But I can be pretty cynical at times. I'm sure there are some like that, so it's probably about asking questions, finding out how the store and identify the blood, where is it kept, what sort of back-up systems do they have in case of power failures, etc. I think if you ask enough questions, then it gets harder for them to make up all the answers if it's just a scam.

While I personally can't see anything wrong with donating to a public bank, I can see why people would hesitate on that...not for justified reasons, but because they don't understand enough about the science and succumb to the scare tactics of those opposed to stem cell research. They probably worry that someone will be making clones of their baby in a lab somewhere. Too many sci fi movies on this sort of stuff, and people seem to believe Hollywood more than the scientists. But, I agree, if you're just going to throw it out and it has the potential to be used to save someone's life someday, why not donate it? Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?

6. May 4, 2004

Loren Booda

This thread is beginning to sound like the argument over cryogenics - in the attempt to preserve our lives, what happens when the company "goes under?"

7. May 4, 2004

Staff: Mentor

At least this is something real. Who knows if freezing yourself in the hopes of being resuscitated one day will ever happen.

Even if resuscitation of a "truly" deceased person ever becomes reality, perhaps the way bodies today are being prepared would make it impossible to benefit from the new technology. I think it's a waste of people's money.

Cord blood is something we currently have the technology to use. So selecting a responsible company is an issue.

8. May 4, 2004

Loren Booda

You're right on the practicality of stem cells (at least from benign sources), Evo. Meanwhile let's encourage ourselves and others to become organ donors.

9. May 4, 2004

Staff: Mentor

I am an organ donor, I figure it will be the last good deed I will ever do.

You know, people that think they will never leave a legacy, never contibrute anything, should consider being a donor. After all, you're not going to need it anymore. I'd rather think that I could in some small way help someone else out than just rot in the ground.

Only you could make being MUCH older than dirt sound nice.

10. Jul 6, 2011

drianne

I wonder if anyone notices the utter irony of this practice. If the cord blood is so rich in beneficial substances, why do modern medical childbirth practices make sure that newborn babies are deprived of a good portion of it? When babies are first born, their umbilical cords are clamped and then cut almost immediately, while they are still pulsating, thereby depriving the babies of a good amount of the rich cord blood.

11. Jul 6, 2011

Staff: Mentor

Welcome to PF drianne. You may not have realised but this thread is 7 years old, the dates are given next to the posts. Posting on really old threads is discouraged here.

To answer your question cord blood is collected because it is a potent source of pluripotent stem cells specific for the individual. The hope is that by having a sample of someone's PSCs in the future they will have a source to provide for regenerative medicines.

12. Jul 7, 2011

drianne

Thanks ryan for your response! Yes, I actually don't notice that this thread was a bit old now, sorry for that.

Anyway, As we all know, the demand for cord blood transplants has risen in recent years. Cord blood transplants have been proven to extend the lives of people who are afflicted with certain diseases, even going as far as completely curing them. But how does the process of cord blood transplant work? How much do cord blood transplant costs these days?

Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2011