Frequently Asked Questions, Cord blood, Cord tissue, Stem cells | CryoSave India

A

Cord Blood And Cord Tissue

  • 1. What are stem cells ?

    Stem cells, at times referred to as master cells or mother cells, are the cells that develop into different types of cells, tissues and organs during life. A dividing stem cell can either give rise to another stem cell or different types of cells like a red blood cell, a brain cell or a muscle cell1. Owing to these remarkable and unique properties, stem cells have found an important place in medicine. Stem cells from cord blood have been successfully used to treat diseases for more than 25 years now9.

  • 2. What is Cord Blood ?

    Cord Blood (also referred to as umbilical cord blood or placental blood) is the extra/ residual blood that remains in the umbilical cord after the cord has been cut at the time of delivery.
    This blood is a rich source of young stem cells. Stem cells are being used in different medical treatments these days.

  • 3. What is Cord Tissue ?

    Cord Tissue fills up the umbilical cord. It does not include the cord blood.

    The stem cells found in Cord Tissue are different from the ones found in Cord Blood. These stem cells are widely researched today as they have unique properties that may be potentially used to treat a gamut of diseases.

  • 4. How are stem cells from Cord Blood different from any other stem cell?

    Stem cells from Cord Blood are very young and flexible. Since Cord Blood is collected, tested and processed in advance, these stem cells are readily available as and when needed 6. Cord Blood is far less likely to cause any complications during transplant7. Cord Blood stem cells do not need to be matched perfectly before treatment, increasing the probability of using them for family6. Also, the safe & painless collection and effectiveness in use is the reason for increasing number of Cord Blood Transplants every year.

  • 5. Why do parents preserve their children’s stem cells?

    Parents choose to preserve stem cells for their babies because these cells may help treat diseases and injuries in future. Cord Blood is a rich source of haematopoietic stem cells that are currently used to treat more than 80 diseases such as blood related diseases, solid tumors, metabolic disorders and immune disorders3. Cord Tissue is being researched to potentially treat diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, liver cirrhosis and others21.
    Also, owing to less likelihood of complications during treatment; encouraging outcomes 7; ready availability6; ease of collection, processing & storage and potential use for family6, a lot of parents are deciding in favor of preserving their newborns’ stem cells.

  • 6. When can I preserve my baby’s stem cells?

    The only opportunity to preserve your baby’s stem cells is at the time of your baby’s birth. The Cord Blood and Cord Tissue are collected with-in 10 minutes of the birth of your baby; the collection is safe and painless for both you and your baby. If you do not opt to preserve, the Cord Blood and Cord Tissue are discarded after birth.

  • 7. What is Cord Blood Banking & Cord Tissue Banking and how is it done?

    Preservation of Cord Blood and Cord Tissue cryogenically (in liquid nitrogen at temperatures below minus 150°C) post collection and processing is referred to as Banking. When expecting, the expectant parents decide if they want to bank their baby’s stem cells; if they decide for it, they are given a collection kit that is carried to the birthing center at the time of delivery for collection post which, there is transportation to the facility, testing and processing and long term preservation of the cells for potential future use.

  • 8. Do I preserve both Cord Blood & Cord Tissue for my baby?

    Cord Blood is important as a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells and Cord Tissue is important primarily as a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells. Both these types of cells perform different functions, the hematopoietic stem cells are responsible for a healthy blood and immune system and the mesenchymal stem cells build structural tissues in our body; they heal and repair in different ways so we recommended that you preserve both. CryoSave offers you preservation of both Cord Blood and Cord Tissue in the same package. Cord Blood is being used to treat for more than 25 years9 and Cord Tissue is being researched widely for potential treatments because of its remarkable & unique properties.

  • 9. For how long can these cells survive?

    It is believed (theoretically) that using proper cryo-preservation techniques stem cells can be preserved indefinitely38.
    Studies confirmed that recovery of cord blood stem cells after 23.5 years of cryo-preservation is comparable to the fresh samples 40.

  • 10. Can my baby’s stem cells be used by others in my family?

    The stem cells may be used to treat any one in your family with a suitable match. The cells are a perfect match for your baby.

  • 11. What are the chances of use of these stem cells?

    The odds of an individual needing to use stem cells for treatment by the age of 70 are 1 in 21711. This dataonly reflects the chances bases on all the treatments possible presently and does not reflect the potential treatments that may be developed in future.

  • 12. If my family does not have history of a disease, should I still preserve my baby’s stem cells?

    A lot of diseases treatable using cord blood stem cells like many types of leukemias and other cancers are not hereditary in nature; since the nature of any future disease or injury cannot be predicted and the probability of using stem cells for treatment by the age of 70 for an individual are 1 in 21711 (this number only reflects the chances bases on all the treatments possible presently and does not consider any potential future treatment), a lot of families with no previous history of disease are opting for stem cell preservation for their newborns.

B

Collection Processing & Storage

  • 1. Is the collection of cord blood and cord tissue safe for my baby and me?

    The collection of Cord Blood and Cord Tissue happens immediately after birth once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. It is easy and takes just a few minutes. It is completely safe and painless for both the mother and the baby.

  • 2. Does a C-section affect the collection of Cord Blood and Cord Tissue?

    Cord Blood and Cord Tissue collection remains essentially the same in case of a C-section as in normal delivery. The sterile blood collection bag provided by CryoSavefor collection of Cord Blood can be used for both normal delivery as well as C-section.

  • 3. Does delayed cord clamping affect the Cord Blood and Cord Tissue clamping?

    No, the time of clamping the cord is decided by your obstetrician, the process of collecting Cord Blood and Cord Tissue starts after the clamping of umbilical cord.

  • 4. Does my birthing center/ hospital need any additional kit for Cord Blood and Cord Tissue collection?

    Your birthing center/ hospital does not need any additional equipment for Cord Blood and Cord Tissue collection. CryoSave provides you with a collection kit that has everything you need for Cord Blood and Cord Tissue collection. You just need to carry the collection kit to the birthing center/ hospital with you for the birth.

  • 5. Do I need to take any precautions in keeping the collection kit?

    You just need to keep the collection kit in a cool and dry place.

  • 6. How do the collected Cord Blood and Cord Tissue reach CryoSave processing and storage facility?

    CryoSave engages a logistic company specialized in transportation of biological material on your behalf to transport the sample from your birthing center/ hospital to CryoSave processing and storage facility. Our logistic partners are IATA & ADA compliant. You may choose to engage another logistic company if you find it convenient.

  • 7. Where does CryoSave process and preserve the Cord Blood and Cord Tissue?

    The Cord Blood and Cord Tissue are processed and stored at CryoSave’s facility at Bangalore (one of the safest places in India with respect to natural disasters and is near to an international airport to facilitate fast and efficient logistics)

  • 8. How can I be sure of the safety of the facility?

    CryoSave’s dedicated processing and storage facility is monitored 24X7 for temperature, humidity, liquid nitrogen pressure and particle count, facility, access, stored samples and storage area. There is a Class 100 particle free area for processing to maintain absolute sterility. These factors (among many more) ensure complete safety and security of your baby’s sample starting from the time it reaches the facility. The facility is licensed by DCGI and has processes and quality management system structured according to ISO 9001: 2008, AABB, WHO-GMP and NABL.

  • 9. Should I not preserve my baby’s stem cells close to where I reside?

    Not necessarily, safety of the geographic location and an excellent processing system should be the primary factors while choosing a stem cell bank for your baby. The cells may be needed anytime anywhere in the world and the shipping of the cells to the treating facility is promptly arranged by CryoSave eliminating the need of geographical proximity.

  • 10. What is special about CryoSave’s processing method?

    At CryoSave we realize the importance of offering maximum treatment options and ensuring best possible count and viability of stem cells for the best treatment outcomes. CryoSave was the first and the most experienced company in India in automated Cord Blood processing.  Our proprietary processing protocol UCB-LITE V10 (developed specially for CryoSave clients in technical partnership with Biosafe) is customized, chemical free and the fastest protocol delivering the best counts and viability of stem cells resulting in maximum treatment options and positive treatment outcomes.

    CryoSave was the first company to start preserving the Cord Tissue in India. We ensure complete cord preservation to ensure that all the potential therapy options are secured. Since treatments using the Cord Tissue are still under research, it is wiser to preserve all the different types of cells.

  • 11. How are my baby’s stem cells stored?

    After processing, the cells are preserved at very low temperature (cryo-preservation) for their long term survival. Cryo-preservation involves securing the cells at temperatures below -150°C in liquid nitrogen; the process almost stops aging of the cells. It is believed that using proper cryo-preservation techniques stem cells can be preserved indefinitely38.

    Studies confirmed that recovery of cord blood stem cells after 23.5 years of cryo-preservation is comparable to the fresh samples40. These cryo-preserved cells can be used for treatments in future.

  • 12. What happens after 21 years of storage?

    The stored cells are property of the child; the parents/ legal guardians consent to collection, processing, storage and use on behalf of the child. When the contract expires, the child (now of age), is approached and offered an extension to the contract.

  • 13. How does CryoSave ensure proper identification of my baby’s cells?

    CryoSave ensures proper traceability from the time you sign-up to long term preservation. You are assigned unique identifiers- an ID and a barcode that goes on your collection kit, sample and all your documents. For additional security, post processing we assign you another unique lab ID that is communicated to you in your preservation report. All this information is logged and backed-up regularly.

  • 14. If needed, how can the stored cells be retrieved?

    In case of need, we work with your doctor to facilitate the process. We transport the sample to the designated treatment center.

  • 15. Is my and my family’s information safe and confidential?

    CryoSave takes confidentiality of your personal information very seriously; your personal data may be accessed only by authorized personnel only to the extent required and in accordance with all the applicable laws and regulations.

C

Use In Treatments

  • 1. What is meant by HLA matching?

    HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) referrers to proteins or markers present on the cells that are used to match the donor and the recipient before using stem cells from donor for treating the recipient.

    A close HLA match increases the chances of success of treatment and reduces the risk of complications

  • 2. Are blood typing and HLA matching related?

    No, the two are not related. HLA matching and compatibility is more important with respect to stem cell transplant. In case of mis-matched blood group, the physician may follow certain steps to prepare the sample and then use it39.

  • 3. How are Cord Blood stem cells being used in treatments?

    The cells from Cord Blood have the ability to build blood and immune system, they are also considered important because of their ability to home in the site of injury, heal, repair and regenerate tissue. These cells have been in use for more than 25 years now9. They are currently being used to treat more than 80 diseases3 including leukemias, disorders of immune system, solid tumors and different types of blood related disorders.

  • 4. What is meant by GvHD?

    Graft-versus-Host Disease is a complication in which the transplanted cells attack the recipient’s body. This complication does not occur in autologous transplants.

    Stem cells from cord blood are known to have less likelihood of causing GvHD7, one of the reasons why doctors are looking at Cord Blood stem cells favorably.

  • 5. How are Cord Tissue stem cells being used in treatments?

    The cells from Cord Tissue can create structural and connective tissue, these cells are different from the ones found in Cord Blood. Currently, there are no standard treatments happening using these cells however they are being researched and examined because of their immense potential and unique abilities that may be harnessed in future to potentially treat diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, liver cirrhosis and others 21.

  • 6. Is it true that stem cells cannot be used for self as they contain the disease?

    Numerous autologous transplants (utilizing one’s own stem cells) happen across the globe. Only in certain conditions like sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, early on-set leukemia etc., one’s own stem cells cannot be used for treatment; in such circumstances, matched cord blood from sibling is the best option.

D

Service & Billing

  • 1. When do I receive my invoices?

    As soon you sign-up and pay, you receive a temporary receipt with your payment and scheduled payment details. Post the completion of payment, a permanent invoice is generated to specify that no dues are pending on your behalf.

  • 2. Is there a cost to retrieve my baby’s stem cells?

    No, CryoSave does not charge you to retrieve the stored stem cells.

  • 3. Are there any options available for ease of payment?

    CryoSave offers easy installments and financing options for your convenience. The payment modes include Credit Card, Debit Card, Cash, Cheque/ Demand Draft and financing options like Bajaj FinServ; our staff can help you with the details and you may pick the one that suits you the best.

  • 4. Can I extend my storage period right now?

    Yes, you may choose to extend the storage period beyond 21 years. We recommend that you do it post sample preservation.

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