There are a number of things that need to be kept in mind while opting for stem cell banking such as cryopreservation facility, location, cost, collection and transportation facility. Over and above the basic services one must also ensure they choose a stem cell bank is transparency in providing the complete detailed reports of all the tests performed such as sterility, CD34 cell count, viability CFU, HLA Testing and more.
Stem cell banking benefits:
Storing these cells can help you treat over 80 diseases including cancers, blood disorders, and immune disorders. Stem cells also have the ability to rebuild cardiac tissue, repair damage due to stroke or spinal cord injuries, reverse the effects of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and much more. As a result, cord blood banking is worth spending for. Below is a list of tests and services you must look for:
Sterility Test: Sterility Test detects any kind of aerobic and anaerobic microbial contamination in the cord blood and cord tissue. Helps to ensure micro-organism and contamination free cord blood and cord tissue which can be used in future transplantation.
Stem Cell Count: Stem cells happen to be Mono-Nuclear Cells or MNC: when you look at them under a microscope there is only one nucleus. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult aspects of stem cell biology is that you can’t identify a stem cell just by looking at it. There are other types of blood cells which are also MNC, such as nucleated red blood cells. The only proof that a cell is a stem cell comes from how it behaves when it multiplies. Stem Cell Count test is done to determine the number of stem cells in the isolated fraction of cord blood cells. Stem Cell Count aids the hematologist in determining the treatment plan for stem cell transplantation.
CFU: Stem cells have the ability to differentiate, but how do you evaluate this ability? The answer to this is CFU test. This test is a two-week lab test that lets you estimate the cell potency. In the CFU test a small portion is observed under controlled conditions to see if stem cells differentiate to form colonies. Earlier it used to be a subjective measure, but recently it has been standardized with technology to image the cells and count colonies in the image. During the test it takes 14 days for colonies to grow, therefore it is advised to perform the test at the time of preservation. As per US. Dept. of Health and Human Services and their prescribed guidelines CFU evaluation is a must at the tim
e of preservation as it determines potency, differentiation capacity and actual utility of stem cells. Babycell™ is the only stem cell bank in India that performs the CFU assay at the time of preservation and provides the test results along with client’s Cryopreservation Certificate.
HLA testing and its importance:
HLA means Human Leukocyte Antigens, which are found on the surface of various types of nucleated cells in the human body. In the human anatomy, they are akin to an “identity card”, inherited from one’s parents and could distinguish “self” and “nonself”. Briefly, there are 6 HLA types: A, B, DQ and DR. Out of which A, B and DR play a critical role during cord blood transplants. A cord blood transplant is just as effective at curing patients with only a 4 out of 6 match (67% match) between donor and patient.
The best potential for an HLA match is within the family. Each person inherits one A, B, DR antigen from each parent. Thus, we have 2 HLA-A antigens, 2 HLA-B antigens and 2 DR antigen which make up total 6 anitgens. In case of a Cord Blood Transplant 4/6 is a suitable match.
When an unrelated donor is sought the number of potential HLA combinations becomes so enormous that finding the patient’s exact HLA type may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack. HLA helps to understand the acceptance and recovery after transplantation on two factors
- Engraftment – Engraftment occurs when the donated cells that were transplanted begin to grow and make new cells.
- Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD)-A post-transplant complication, GVHD occurs when the immune cells from the cord blood (the graft) attack the patient’s own immune cells.
Haemoglobinopathy is a condition that involves an abnormality in the structure of haemoglobin. An investigation of a hemoglobin disorder typically involves tests that determine the types and amounts of hemoglobin present in a person’s sample of blood. Information from the test, along with results from routine tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) and blood smear, aid in establishing a diagnosis of Hemoglobinopathies.
With this test, you can detect the disorders and arrange a treatment accordingly.
So the next time you are looking for a reliable stem cell banking in India or anywhere in the world, keep the above services in mind. They will definitely help you choose the right stem cell banking service that lets you make the most for your loved ones.
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