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September

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.
Jordan H. Perlow, MD
Aug 2012   The unfortunate "state of the weight" in the United States is that over the past 50 years, the number of Americans classified as overweight or obese has climbed from 13% to two-thirds. Of particular importance to women's health care practitioners is the fact that more than 40% of pregnant women are either overweight or obese.

July

Jul 2012   The maternal and family health questionnaires that mothers usually complete before the collection of their baby's cord blood are designed to safeguard the health of the cord blood recipient. These questionnaires are an important component of the health evaluation, along with the testing of the maternal blood sample for infectious disease markers.
Jul 2012   Leukemia is a random killer. It can strike any one of us at any time. But for many, there is hope of a cure through a bone marrow, blood stem cell or umbilical cord blood transplant. That is, of course, if a suitable donor - including cord blood - can be found. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Gift of Life is one of the nation's public blood cell registries facilitating transplants for children and adults suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, other cancers and genetic diseases.
Andromachi Scaradavou, MD
Jul 2012   One of the advantages of cord blood (CB) as a source of stem cells for transplantation is the ability to use "not perfect" matches, which means that the donor's CB and patient do not have to match at all HLA antigens. As a result, more patients can find suitable CB units.

June

Sheila Overton, M.D., FACOG
Jun 2012   Recent reports show that teen pregnancy and births in the U.S. have reached an all-time low, so it's tempting for parents, healthcare providers, and community leaders to think, "problem solved!" and move on to another issue. But here is the reality: Approximately 750,000 teen pregnancies occur annually in the U.S., and roughly one in three teen girls gets pregnant before age 20.
Nita Thompson AA4SCDAwareness
Jun 2012   Nita Thompson of African American Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry for Sickle Cell Disease Awareness volunteered to run the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood exhibit booth at the 2012 Cord Blood Symposium
Julie G. Allickson, PhD, MS, MT (ASCP)
Jun 2012   Amniotic fluid has been used for more than 70 years for prenatal diagnosis (1). It is extracted, by a procedure called "amniocentesis", generally between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, to assess for genetic birth defects. In addition to the fluid required for testing, the doctor will also withdraw a small amount (a few milliliters) of additional fluid, in case any further testing is required. That extra fluid could be used to isolate fetal stem cells from the baby, as it contains a varied population of cells that originate from the tissues of the baby's skin, respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.