Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cord blood: A New Hope for Leukemia


Quezon City, October 8, 2014 -- A video of a mother from Quebec fighting against leukemia recently went viral in YouTube. Her desperate plea – to find a compatible umbilical cord donor, the only hope for her second battle against leukemia.

Mai Duong, a 34-year-old Vietnamese-Canadian mother is among the many patients diagnosed of cancer every four minutes. Leukemia - cancer of the body’s tissues that are responsible for forming blood including bone marrow and lymphatic system is among the top eight common cancers in the Philippines. 

In 2005, the Philippine Cancer Society recorded 4,202 new cases, 2,243 of which is among males with 3.9 percent incidence rate while 1,959 cases were recorded among females with an incidence rate of 3.6 percent. With an average 5-year survival rate of only 25 percent, an estimated 3,498 deaths are expected with 1,863 in men and 1,635 among women[i]. 

Normally, the body produces and grows the white blood cells in an orderly way. But for people with leukemia, their bone marrow produces white blood cells that are abnormal either in number or function.

The symptoms of the disease varies from fever or chills, persistent fatigue and weakness, frequent or severe infections, unexpected weight loss, swelling of lymph nodes, bruising or bleeding easily, frequently recurring nosebleeds, visible red spots, bone pain or tenderness and excessive sweating at night[ii]. 

Beyond the physical pain that leukemia patients experience, they are also susceptible to emotional stress and anxiety. And when it comes to the trauma and emotional pain, the patient’s family is no exception.  Studies showed that anxiety and posttraumatic stress are common to leukemia patients’ families during and even after suffering from the condition. Researchers found that childhood cancer treatment has a long-term impact on parents and families, thus, highlighting the need for psychological interventions during and after the cancer treatment[iii]. 

But what gives the patients and their families a sense of hope for recovery is the life-saving effects of stem cell transplantation, including that from umbilical cord blood. 

Like Duong, Ryan Foo is also among the many leukemia victims who conducted a nationwide search for bone marrow stem cells. Foo suffered from leukemia at a very young age and found hope of recovery after his baby sister, Rachel was born. Rachel’s cord blood was collected and was processed and stored in Cordlife’s cord blood banking facility. Ryan has been in remission following the successful transplantation in Singapore in 2002[iv]. 

In 2005, cord blood transplantation for a 9-year-old female diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia was performed according to Philippine Journal of Medicinev. The family had to search for one year before finding a cord blood unit in Japan that matches their precious child. The cost of the cord blood unit was about six-folds of how much it would have cost had they banked the child’s cord blood vi.

Recent researches have proven the life-saving effects of umbilical cord blood stem cells in many life-threatening diseases including leukemia. Comparing cord-blood transplants with current standard leukemia therapies, two new studies indicated that leukemia patients who require stem cell transplants but do not have bone marrow donors now have greater chances to proceed with the treatment through the use of umbilical cord blood cells. 

 “Cord blood opens the door to provide transplants to thousands of leukemia patients who otherwise would not get a transplant,” said Mary J. Laughlin, M.D., of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, in an article published by the Journal of National Cancer Institute[v]i. 

Laughlin, lead author of one of the two studies in cord blood technology published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also added that cord blood has two important advantages on bone marrow diseases.

With cord blood, there is faster identification of appropriate units for transplant. This is important since some conditions require urgent delivery and thus, delays are something medical providers aim to eliminate. Also, with cord blood, patients are more likely to get acceptable transplants because of the higher possibilities in the matching of donors. 

Laughlin also added in the same report that they are suggesting the expansion of national cord blood registries to improve access to cord blood and eventually provide patients with more aschances of getting matches. 

 “The more [cord blood samples] we bank the better will be the match and the availability to patients,” Eliane Gluckman, M.D., of the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris, said in the same article. 
Gluckman also confirmed the possibility of cord blood transplantation in adults and noted its growing development in cancer research. 
She said that “many transplant centers thought it was not possible to use cord blood cells in adults. Now, more people will become aware of this possibility.”

In addition to this, a breakthrough in cancer research was recently seen through a study led by the Loyola Medical Center oncologists. They found that growing cord blood stem cells in a laboratory before proceeding with transplant will significantly improve the survival and boost the number of patients who could benefit from it.[vi]i 

Today, Filipinos can now benefit from these breakthroughs in cancer study by banking their babies’ stem cell-rich cord blood. This unique, highly-advanced service is now available in the country through Cordlife Philippines’ cord blood banking service which helps parents protect their child from the dangers of life-threatening diseases including leukemia. 

“Stem cells are at the forefront of one of the most riveting and revolutionary areas of medicine today. While this could be a leap from the traditional treatments available, my fellow doctors and I do recognize cord blood stem cell transplantation as a standard form of treatment for various blood disorders, specially leukemia” Dr. Arvin Faundo, Medical Director of Cordlife Philippines. 

With continuous advancement in cord blood stem cell applications, it’s imperative that parents seize the one chance to save their baby’s cord blood. For more information, download Cordlife’s FREE infopack @ www.cordlife.ph or call them at (02) 332 – 1888.






34 comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

I know stem cells are important and we thought about saving our kids cord blood, but the prices were really outrageous at the time (maybe they still are) and paying thousands to save it right as we were shelling out money for a new baby and in hospital bills, well, it just didn't make financial sense to us.

April Hammond said...

I hope when/if I have a baby a can save the cord blood. Hopefully the research can do a lot of good.

savannah said...

I didn't have the money at the time to save my kids Cord blood, but I thought the price was ridiculous! I don't quite understand how they could charge you to store something that could save a life!!! If anything they should pay you in order to save it

I love that they are using it though to save lives <3 I hope the keep researching and eventually find a cure

Kung Phoo said...

We just found out that someone i know from many years ago died of this.. It was a slow process but he could never recover from it all.. I feel for his family today as they are grieving. Cancer sucks!

Catherine Sargent said...

This is great information and it sounds like something that can help a lot of people. I know when I had my son it was to expensive to do it, I wish we would have had the money.

Desafio said...

We try to save our son's cord blood, but it was cost prohibited. We were a young couple and just the cost of raising our child was a lot to take in them.

Nina Say said...

The research behind stem cell usage is really interesting, I'd love to see studies on it in person.

Erica Brooks said...

Thank you for the information. I now have a better understanding on how cord blood could be used to help individuals with Leukemia.

Cindy Gordon said...

It was a hard choice when we had our kids. With all the expenses of having a new baby, it was hard to make a choice to "store" the cord. Sounds like so much can be done with it.

Sweepster said...

I remember hearing her pleas on the radio. It is so sad that she couldn't find a donor.

Taya Elery said...

Modern medicine has come a long way. I'm hearing a lot of helpful things recently about umbilical cords.

Rochkirstin Santos said...

Whoa. I'm sure it's a complicated process but the cord blood transplantation deposits a positive hope for leukemia sufferers. Because of the price, I don't know if many would want to go through that as they can't afford it. The government should be aware so they can help.

Laura MyNewestAddiction said...

Thank you for the education on the subject. I wasnt fully aware

Cassie Tucker said...

I wish more information about this was more widely available 30 years ago or even 10 years ago. How many could have been helped if parents had known this was a viable option?

Becka M said...

I had thought about this but at that time it was so expensive. It's a great thing to have if you can.

April Decheine said...

Such a sweet video, I have heard about this, there is such need for people to be aware of the process.

Annemarie Leblanc said...

It's amazing that they're using it to save lives!

Jo said...

I have an account with them already and I took advantage of the free Shutterfly offer. :D

Ben Butler said...

The idea of saving cord blood is very intriguing to me. I can see how it would be a possible benefit down the road, unfortunately, they don't make it very financially attainable.

Risa Bledsoe said...

I am hoping that someday it becomes much more affordable to bank cord blood. Right now the prices are crazy but I am hoping that when my daughter (who is 8 now) has children this will be more commonplace and therefore more affordable. It's amazing what it can do!

Taylor Dean said...

I hadn't heard of or seen that video before. Thank you for sharing!

Melissa said...

What a touching video! Maybe if banking cord blood was less costly, more people would do it.

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommy! Thanks for your comment. It has always been Cordlife’s advocacy to raise awareness about the importance of saving your baby’s stem cells and we’re glad this blog helps reach out to our parents. Knowing the benefits of storing cord blood stem cells, it is really a big investment. Please allow me to share that when we started back in 2005, the cord blood units had to be shipped all the way to Singapore which could be a bit costly due to the courier fees. Hence, the decision to build a local state-of-the-art facility(among other considerations). Now, parents can save their baby’s stem cells with Cordlife for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply.

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommy! Thanks for your comment. I would like to share that in the first case of transplant using umbilical cord blood was in1988 for a boy with Fanconi Anemia. To date, approximately 8,000 people world wide have received medical therapies using the stem cells derived from a newborn's umbilical cord after birth. It was proven to cure certain type of diseases such as: leukemia, lymphoma and among other. Did you know that Cordlife has a flexible payment options and you can save your baby’s stem cells for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. Please visit www.cordlife.ph or you may call us at: 02(332-1888) and will be glad to assist you. Thanks! Have a great day!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommy Catherine! Thanks for your comment. Did you know that Cordlife Medical Philippines has a lot of payment options to choose from. And Parents like us can store their baby's stem cell for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. Feel free to check our site: www.cordlife.ph or call us at 02(332-1888) and will be glad to assist you. Have a great day ahead!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommy Desafio! thanks for your comment. I'd love to share with you that Cordlife Medical Philippines has a lot of flexible payment options. To know more, kindly visit our site www.cordlife.ph or call us at 02(332-1888) and will be glad to assist you. Thanks.

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommy Cindy! Good day. Yes actually ongoing clinical trials are being done to know more the diseases umbilical cord blood can cure. Presently, it was proven that it can help treat diseases such as: leukemia, lymphoma, anemia, etc. Also, we have a lot of flexible payment options to choose from. To know more about this, kindly visit our site www.cordlife.ph or you may call us at 02(332-1888) and will be glad to assist you. Thanks.

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Ms. Rochkirstin, Good day! We at Cordlife Medical Philippines has a lot of flexible payment options to choose from. Did you know that parents can store their baby's stem cell as for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply.You may check out our site, www.cordlife.ph or call us at 02(332-1888) to know more about Cordlife. Thanks. Have a great day ahead!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Ms. Laura! Thanks for your comment. It has always been Cordlife’s advocacy to raise awareness about the importance of saving your baby’s stem cells and we’re glad this blog helps reach out to our parents. To know more the benefits of storing baby's cord blood, please visit us at: www.cordlife.ph or call us at 02(332-1888) and we'll be glad to assist you. Have a good day!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mr. Butler! Thanks for your comment. Cordlife Medical Philippines has a lot of flexible payment options, and parents can store their baby's stem cells for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. To know more about Cordlife, please visit: www.cordlife.ph or call us at 02(332-1888) and our representative will be glad to assist you. Thanks. Have a great day ahead!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Ms. Risa! Thanks for your comment. Ongoing clinical trials all over the world are being done to know more the diseases the cord blood can cure. Right now it was proven to treat: leukemia, lymphoma, anemia among others. And since we want to reach more moms and dads, we provide a lot of payment options. For as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. Feel free to check our site, www.cordlife.ph or call us at 02(332-1888) to know more about Cordlife. Have a great day ahead =)

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Guys, thanks for all your comments. It has been our company objective to raise awareness regarding the benefits of storing baby's cord blood. We are happy that through this blog we were able to reach out to each and everyone of you. I personally believe that storing newborn's cord blood is a great investment. To know more about Cordlife Medical Philippines, call us at: 02(332-1888) or visit our site: www.cordlife.ph
Have a great day ahead!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommy! Thanks for your comment. Please allow me to share that when we started back in 2005, the cord blood units had to be shipped all the way to Singapore which could be a bit costly due to the courier fees. Hence, the decision to build a local state-of-the-art facility(among other considerations). Now, parents can save their baby’s stem cells with Cordlife for as low as P3,267* per month for the 1st 12 months using their credit cards.*T&Cs apply. You may visit: www.cordlife.ph or call us at: 02(332-1888) and will be glad to assist you. Have a great day!

Cordlife Mommy said...

Hi Mommies!

I know you are all curious about the helpful benefits of cord blood banking. Good news! We at Cordlife Medical Philippines is giving away FREE Halo Sleepsack wearable blankets for the first 50 mommies that will schedule a non-obligatory consultation with us within November. To register and get the FREEBIE, you may send your details at: http://www.cordlife.ph/en/ t&c applies.

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