ViaCord Speaker Spotlight
Novel Applications for Cord Blood: Exploring Regenerative Properties
Kate Girard, RN MSN, Senior Principal Clinical Affairs Specialist
We are excited to share that ViaCord’s own Kate Girard is not only attending, but is also speaking at the Cord Blood World Europe Conference occurring in London this Wednesday and Thursday. We are excited that Kate is able to attend this meeting because it offers her an opportunity to educate other industry professionals as well as bring back valuable knowledge to the ViaCord research team.This conference is all about advancing cord blood medicine and learning about the latest developments in therapeutic applications for cord blood. Over the course of two days, cord blood bank representatives, clinicians, and researchers will all gather together to discuss how to build deposits, reduce the costs of banking, and increase utilization. Read More
It may seem that every month a different group or charity is rallying around a cause, raising awareness for anything from illnesses to social issues to silly things like hamburgers (yep, we bet you didn’t know May is National Hamburger Month!).1 However, it’s rare that two separate advocacy campaigns complement each other as they did this month. September is both Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and though they are separate campaigns, their goal is the same – help raise awareness about a life-threatening disease affecting thousands of people each year.
Whether tiny, tall, young or old, anyone can develop cancer. In both kids and adults, cancer occurs when normal cells begin to grow abnormally, divide at a rapid rate and invade other tissues. In many instances, these quick-growing cells form tumors, which can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are over 100 different types of cancer. 2
Cord blood gets a lot of attention for its enormous potential. While that’s understandable – researchers are continually pursuing potential new medical applications using cord blood stem cells to treat everything from diabetes to cerebral palsy – it’s important to remember that these cells are also saving lives today, as a proven therapy for dozens of diseases and disorders.
One of these is Fanconi anemia, an inherited blood disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to make blood cells.
More specifically, Fanconi anemia stops the body’s bone marrow from making enough blood cells and can also cause it to make defective cells. Since blood cells perform some of the body’s most important functions – like carrying oxygen, fixing injuries and fighting infections – this can cause severe health problems.
Like many expecting parents, Ben and Jamie Page debated the pros and cons associated with cord blood banking. After much discussion, they ultimately decided to save Harlow’s cord blood with ViaCord “just in case”. According to Jamie, “we did it not thinking we would need it just a few months later.” When Harlow was just four months old doctors discovered a “grapefruit sized mass in her stomach” and “nobody could agree” on what kind of cancer it was. As treatment options were discussed the Pages wondered if the stem cells from her cord blood could be used to treat their daughter’s aggressive cancer.
In an interview with MommyCast’s Gretchen Vogelzang, the Pages discuss this “heartwarming story with a great ending,” that reminds us what a valuable resource cord blood stem cells can be. As Gretchen says, “the best form of Read More