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Thread: Umbilical Cord Question

  1. #1

    Umbilical Cord Question

    So I am going to be an uncle soon. My twin brother and his wife are expecting. I seem to recall somewhere in the abyss of information that was swirling around me as I came out of a coma, and during rehab, that should my brother father another child I should consider freezing the cord. Am I remembering correctly? Is it possible that this tissue may be beneficial to me as research progresses? Thanks.
    -Bake

  2. #2

    If they can they should

    Dr. Young would be the best person to answer this one, but if they/you can afford to store the cord blood, then do it.

    My SIL is storing hers in case my brother (not her husband) can use it someday, with the knowledge that if her kids need it before it can be used for Dennis, they get it.

    I am encouraged by some of the progress being made and the possibilities that are out there.

    There have been a few threads about just this issue, you can search for those also.

    Good luck -
    Meg

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bake
    So I am going to be an uncle soon. My twin brother and his wife are expecting. I seem to recall somewhere in the abyss of information that was swirling around me as I came out of a coma, and during rehab, that should my brother father another child I should consider freezing the cord. Am I remembering correctly? Is it possible that this tissue may be beneficial to me as research progresses? Thanks.
    -Bake
    Bake,

    I have posted answers to this question many times. Your question, however, has a twist to it because this involves your twin brother. If he is your identical twin, this means that at least half of his baby's genes should be compatible with yours. Of course, half would come from his wife and may be incompatible with yours. If so, the umbilical cord blood of his child should have the same probability of matching you as your own child would.

    The likelihood of a match would be much higher than would unrelated blood but there is no guarantee of a match. If you can afford to save the cord blood, you should do so.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Thank you Dr. Young. Yes sir he is an identical twin. That is, I believe, why the freezing of the cord blood was mentioned to us in the first place. Sorry to ask a repetitive question. I should have searched first but to be honest I wasn't sure if it was something that I actually heard or one of my morphine induced thoughts or dreams. Some of them were waaay out there.
    -Bake

  5. #5
    Bake,

    I think that my opinion about this has shifted over the past year. Initially when people asked me whether or not they should save their relatives' baby's umbilical cord blood, I responded by quoting the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics. They recommended against private banking of the baby's umbilical cord blood because would cost as much as $3000 over 20 years with less than a 1% chance that the baby would ever need the blood. I suggested that people donate to a "public bank" which would be free and would benefit others.

    But, as I learned more about umbilical cord blood, I have come to realize that there is a huge shortage of umbilical cord blood for transplantation. At the present, according to the Institute of Medicine study of the subject, there are perhaps 100,000 units available on public registries. If a study shows that umbilical cord blood were useful for any major condition, such as thalassemia or sickle cell anemia, or diabetes, or heart attacks, etc., there will be run on the units and there would not be enough to treat even a small proportion of any of these conditions.

    Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey (much to his credit) sponsored a $87 million bill that will double the number of public units in the United States. But, even that would not be enough. Given the likelihood of a shortage of umbilical cord blood even if the number of umbilical cord blood units being collected were dramatically increased, I have come to the conclusion that it is probably a good idea to encourage people to collect and store the umbilical cord blood for their relatives, if they can afford it.

    By the way, collecting umbilical cord blood for public banking purposes is quite an expensive proposition for companies. In addition to the cost of collecting the blood, preparing and storing it, the company must collect a lot of information, screen the blood for diseases, and carry out low resolution HLA typing of the units in order to put the information on the international umbilical cord blood registry. The entire process may cost several thousand dollars. The reason why private banking is cheaper is because the banks do not have to collect as much personal data and they do not do any HLA-typing of the blood (presumably it is for the baby and need not be typed).

    While the umbilical cord blood of a niece or nephew is not guaranteed to match you, the chances of a match with a relative is much higher. In your case, since your brother is an identical twin, the likelihood of a match is even higher, as high as if the child is your own. Moreover, because the blood will be an identical match and may be useful for your brother's child, the combination of these benefits suggest that the likelihood the blood will be used at sometime will be much higher. In that case, I think that the benefit is sufficient to justify the costs, especially if you are able to afford the cost.

    Wise.

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