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Old 22.06.2008, 19:39
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Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

Hello there,

Well our baby should be arriving sometime during the next weeks. We are wondering if we should store his Stem cells in a cell bank, since this is not something really cheap (~3000Chf) I would like to hear your SCIENTIFIC opinion about it: if this is really worth it?

Some other questions:

* If anyone has done this before, it would be nice to hear some comments.
* Since there are a dozen or more of companies in Switzerland doing this, any recommendations would be nice and/or what should I consider when going though the selection process?

Again SCIENTIFIC opinion please , not political nor religious.

Thanks
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Old 22.06.2008, 19:54
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

We did this for our first child basically because we could and in the slight chance that he gets ill in the future we have done all that we could to help him. We did it 7 years ago when it was a lot cheaper than it is now, the price has gone up considerably in this time. We use Cryo Save and have been very happy with the service we have had from them so far.
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Old 22.06.2008, 20:33
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

Hi,
As a scientist working in the biotechnology field, I would say that if you think to store your new baby's stem cells, then do it. As it stands today, the therapeutic application of stem cell technology is limited so in the short run it will most probably not be of much use. But the field is progressing fast and who can tell what the situation will be in 20 year's time? Even though it's possible to isolate stem cells from adults, it seems that neonatal (new born) stem cells exhibit characteristics in function and proliferation that are different from their adult counterparts and therefore might make them more suitable for certain applications in the future.

Greetings --I.
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Old 22.06.2008, 20:40
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

Thanks Lou,

The price and service are almost the same everywhere, i.e.: (~3000Chf + 20Years of Crio, and 1000 Chf for the next 20). The question is how reliable are these companies (good infrastructure, financially stable, etc)? Since no one can predict global ecnomy during the next 20 Years, one of our concerns is what happens if the company runs out of business (bankruptcy or alike)?
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Old 22.06.2008, 21:51
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

Hey Kayser,

I spent a few years working as a stem cell biologist, and agree with what's been already said: right now there's nothing they can be used for, but there is a small possibility that in the future stem cells harvested from the placenta may mean the difference between life and death for your son or daughter. However, before investing in this it's important that you understand the probabilities: it is most likely that your child will never be in a situation requiring a cell or tissue transplant (which is a good thing!), and even if they are, the technology to use stem cells to help them may not be available. As Lou said, it may be worth doing this simply for the peace of mind that comes from knowing you've done everyone you could in the event something does go wrong. The most likely outcome is that they will sit in a stem call bank forever and not be used.

Regarding your concerns about possible bankruptcy of the company, the cells will be stored in liquid nitrogen, and if the company does go under you should be given the option to retrieve them and have them stored in another facility; done properly, this transfer wouldn't change the biological characteristics of the cells in any way. (Mind you, you can't do this yourself directly: it will require a tub of liquid nitrogen.) To set your mind at ease, it might be worth asking companies directly what their policies are in the event of financial difficulties.

Heather



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Thanks Lou,

The price and service are almost the same everywhere, i.e.: (~3000Chf + 20Years of Crio, and 1000 Chf for the next 20). The question is how reliable are these companies (good infrastructure, financially stable, etc)? Since no one can predict global ecnomy during the next 20 Years, one of our concerns is what happens if the company runs out of business (bankruptcy or alike)?

Last edited by HeatherM; 22.06.2008 at 22:13. Reason: Adding an extra point or two...
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Old 23.06.2008, 11:42
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

This wasn't even an option when our daughter was born, if it had I am sure we would have thought very carefullly about doing it. My question is this, she was born in Oman, moved to Bangkok and now we are here. Had I stored her stem cells, would I have needed to transfer them around the globe with us?
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Old 23.06.2008, 19:47
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

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This wasn't even an option when our daughter was born, if it had I am sure we would have thought very carefullly about doing it. My question is this, she was born in Oman, moved to Bangkok and now we are here. Had I stored her stem cells, would I have needed to transfer them around the globe with us?

Not at all! You could not even if you wanted to, because the cells are stored in liquid nitrogen at -190 C, and transporting them involves special arrangements. Shipping the cells involves a certain risk that something will go wrong so generally speaking the cells are better not moved.
You will have to immagine a scenario along these lines: where you to need the cells (which one always hopes not to), you would most probably visit a doctor in London, Paris or some place in the US. The doctor would contact the company that stores the cells and ask to have them shipped to a laboratory (somewhere different from where the hospital is located) that will culture the cells to the specified aim of the therapy. The <<product>> will then be delivered to the hospital and the doctor will use them for treatment. I hope this helps.
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Old 23.06.2008, 20:59
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Re: Stem cells storage ... is it really worth it?

Thank you all for your useful replies, we have decided to go ahead with Cryo Save.
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