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November

Art Flatau
Nov 2012   BMT-Talk is an un-moderated mailing list or listserv (TM) hosted by the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR). BMT-Talk functions as a virtual community for stem cell transplant patients and their caregivers. Its members are largely patients who are about to undergo or have undergone a bone marrow transplant (BMT), peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT), or cord blood transplant (CBT). There are also a number of spouses, partners, parents and other family and friends of patients undergoing a transplant. Many members have transplants for leukemia, although there are members who have transplants for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Myelodysplastic Syndromes as well as other non-malignant conditions, such as Aplastic Anemia.
Ian Rogers, PhD
Nov 2012   Regenerative medicine is the science of repairing diseased and damaged cells or tissues. This can be accomplished in two ways. First, stem cells can directly replace the diseased cells by engrafting and differentiating into the required cell type. This is what happens during a bone marrow transplant, where the donor stem cells replace the patient's blood and immune system.

October

Suzanne Pontow, PhD
Oct 2012   The Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program (UCBCP) is a California state program run by a small team of dedicated people at the University of California Davis Health System located in Sacramento. The UCBCP was created by a law passed in late 2010 that recognized the urgent need for Californians to donate cord blood for public use, to increase the number of units that are available for transplant and especially those that are racially and ethnically diverse. Many Californians and others worldwide are not able to find a match for a bone marrow donor or cord blood unit, because they are of mixed heritage. The only way to fix this problem is to make sure that the National Cord Blood Inventory has units collected from donors that also have unique genetics representing a diverse family background.
Dra. Ma. del Consuelo Mancias Guerra
Oct 2012   Our clinical trial, listed as ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01019733, was carried out at a University Hospital in Monterrey, Mexico, where we treated children with cerebral palsy that were not able to bank their cord blood. Instead we use stem cells derived from their bone marrow.
Aby J. Mathew, PhD
Oct 2012   Being able to keep the important stem cells in cord blood and birth tissues alive and stored for a long period of time is the key to the utility of "banking" them for later use. This is achieved by freezing, or cryopreservation, of the cells; but how to effectively accomplish this is a bit more complicated than as if storing leftovers in the kitchen freezer.

September

Dennis Todd, PhD
Sep 2012   You've just visited the doctor and the good news is that you're going to have a baby and everything looks good. Thirty years ago, your doctor may have given you a baby book and information about products that sponsors want you to buy for your new addition. Today, along with pretty much the same materials, you'll be asked to consider saving the blood of your newborn that's left over in the umbilical cord and placenta after the delivery. Another big decision, and possibly a costly one.
Save The Cord Foundation
Sep 2012   Save the Cord Foundation is working to make the collection of cord blood the standard of public health education and care in hospitals throughout the nation. Save the Cord Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established to advance cord blood awareness, education, research and legislation, and to provide free, unbiased, factual information to expectant parents and the public surrounding the medical value and life-saving benefits of umbilical cord blood and its storage options.
Doug Sipp
Sep 2012   Great hopes and anticipation have surrounded umbilical cord blood-derived cells since their first clinical use in the 1980s. They represent a relatively rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are capable of restoring the blood system following disease, chemotherapy, or radioablation. Today HSCs from cord blood are widely used in the treatment of diseases of the blood system. Various other cell types derived from perinatal tissues, such as placenta, amniotic fluid, and Wharton's jelly, are also being examined for potential clinical uses. But the great excitement surrounding these sources of stem cells has also led to the rapid and uncontrolled development of an industry that markets unsupported and outright dubious "stem cell treatments" direct to patients and their families, charging thousands to tens of thousands of dollars for these unproven interventions.

August

Pamela S. Becker, MD PhD
Aug 2012   Fanconi anemia is an inherited disorder where patients have a defect in their ability to repair damaged DNA. It leads to progressively lower levels of blood cells and higher chances for developing acute leukemia or other cancers. The treatments available today include medications or transfusions to increase the patient's blood counts. The only potential cure for the low blood counts in Fanconi anemia is a bone marrow transplant from a person who does not carry the disorder. However, not all patients have a suitably matched donor for a bone marrow transplant, and the transplant is a very risky procedure for Fanconi anemia patients.
Aug 2012   When Dave and Lynn Frohnmayer of Eugene, Oregon founded the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, in 1989, little was known about Fanconi Anemia and few scientists were studying it. Three of the Frohnmayers' five children had been diagnosed with this rare genetic disease and they were looking for answers. They created the nonprofit Fanconi Anemia Research Fund to find effective treatments and a cure for Fanconi Anemia, and to provide education and support services to affected families worldwide.