Should You Bank Your Baby's Cord Blood?

A Doctor's Response

To Bank or Not to Bank?

I am writing in response to your article, "Should I Bank My Baby's Cord Blood?" in the March issue. Cord-blood stem cells are used to treat blood- and immune-related diseases, but your article fails to mention the extensive, ongoing research to treat heart disease, stroke, diabetes, spinal-cord injuries, and an extensive list of potential applications.

Today, cord blood is used in the treatment of more than 40 diseases. And there are exciting clinical trials underway that will allow for a significant expansion in the number and volume of cells to accommodate transplantation in an adult. You said there are significant costs for maternal testing. Almost all companies that require infectious disease testing include the testing in their collection fees.

You failed to mention that almost all cord-blood banking companies have a "patient in need" program, where the company will provide the service for free or a nominal cost if there is a family member in need.

Jeffrey A. Marcus, MD Director of Clinical Research Atlanta Women's Research Institute

Originally published in American Baby magazine, March 2005. Updated April 2005.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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