Free collection and storage of umbilical cord blood for families who have a child with cerebral palsy

TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2019 /CNW/ – To mark World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6th, Insception Lifebank is sharing a family story that shines a light on the potential impact umbilical cord blood stem cells may have in treating this debilitating condition.

Nosheen and Abdul from Milton, Ontario have two children, Armaan (four) and Anaya (one). Armaan has been diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy (CP). In July 2018, the family’s obstetrician suggested the collection of baby sister Anaya’s umbilical cord blood so that it may be used to treat Armaan’s CP in the future. Research in several different countries has shown cord blood treatment could be promising for children with CP.

In July of this year, Armaan was infused with Anaya’s cord blood at Duke University under the FDA-approved Expanded Access Programi which enables cord blood stem cell therapy for children with various brain disorders.

Nosheen reports that for Armaan, the impact of the cord blood stem cells infusion has been encouraging. “Since the (cord blood) infusion, we have seen positive changes in Armaan’s upper body strength, his vision, and his coordination. Now, when he looks at us, he is more connected and can hold his eye contact for longer. Armaan is showing better grasp control and can curl his fingers to hold our hands, which he could never do before. These changes may seem small, but they are important to us, and represent a hope of a better quality of life.”

Cerebral palsy is a life-long disability and while there are numerous interventions and therapies that may help reduce its impact, there is no cure for the condition as yet. In recent years, scientific research has focused on demonstrating the potential of cord blood in the management of CP. Whilst cord blood is not currently an approved treatment for CP, clinical trials and Duke’s Expanded Access Program are bringing Canadian families closer to viable treatment options.

“The emerging research of umbilical cord blood as a potential treatment for cerebral palsy is encouraging,” said Dr. Ian Rogers, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto, and Insception Lifebank’s Scientific Director. “Published clinical trials have reported promising results in both cognitive and motor function measures, with investigations ongoing.”

Nosheen and Abdul stored Anaya’s umbilical cord blood via Insception’s free Cerebral Palsy Sibling Collection Program. The program offers free umbilical cord blood collection and storage for newborn babies who have a sibling with CP and aims to provide children with CP and their families access to treatments in current clinical trials.

Mr. Frank Cashen, General Manager of Insception Lifebank said: “We are pleased to offer free compassionate collection and storage of cord blood to families impacted by CP to facilitate access to clinical trials and approved treatments. To date, over 300 families have accessed our CP collection program.”

When asked about their experience, Nosheen said: “If you are expecting or plan on becoming pregnant, I encourage you to consider this option. Banking cord blood is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and prepares you in the event it may one day help your child.”

For more information about storing umbilical cord blood or the Cerebral Palsy Sibling Collection Program, please contact Insception Lifebank at 1-866-606-2790 or visit www.insception.com.

About Cerebral Palsy:

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is estimated that one out of every 400 Canadian babies, and up to one in three premature babies, are affected to some extent. There are more than 50,000 Canadians with CPii. Interventions include a variety of approaches to reduce the severity of the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy and assist with pain, movement, communication, and learning.

About Cord Blood:

Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta. It is a rich source of blood stem cells and other important cells that can only be collected at birth for potential future use.

About Insception:

Founded in 1996, Insception Lifebank is Canada’s largest and most experienced cord blood program. Insception Lifebank operates with the highest quality standard in Canada (Health Canada, AABB and FACT).

Contact name:  Frank Cashen, 416-432-2540

i Duke University Medical Center Expanded Access Protocol: Umbilical Cord Blood Infusions for Children With Brain Injuries https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03327467 Accessed on October 4, 2019.
ii Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy A Guide to Cerebral Palsy. https://www.ofcp.ca/about-cerebral-palsy. Accessed on October 4, 2019.

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