Umbilical Cords Provide Immune System Boost for Patients with Lymphoma?

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According to new research conducted by students at John Hopkins University, stem cells from newborn umbilical cords and placenta should be utilized, not tossed away as they presently are. The students insist that the stem cells would be better served if they were used to boost the immune systems of patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders.

The students -- who are currently pursuing a master’s degree at the university’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design -- make use of the CBx System in their efforts. Although the technology is still in the testing stage, the students have already obtained a provisional patent for the technology and crated the company TheraCord LLC.

“Cord blood, collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after live birth, is the most viable source of stem cells, yet over 90 percent is uncollected and discarded,” the team members wrote for a presentation at the university's recent Biomedical Engineering Design Day. “One of the main reasons valuable cord blood is so frequently discarded is because no adequate collection method exists.”

With this in mind, parents can now save the cord blood when their baby is born, and apply it in a way that can benefit either their family or another.

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