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Parents keep interest in cord blood storage Cord Blood Europe calls for objective information among parents -to-be

Date

28 Feb 2011

Sections

Health & Consumers

Brussels (Belgium) - 1 March 2011 - Family Cord Blood Banks continue to make a major contribution to the European cord blood stem cell reserves. A total number of 349,774 samples were stored in Europe at the end of 2010.

Cord blood contains very young and healthy stem cells which are currently used in the treatment of over 80 diseases. Other treatments are expected with the completion of some 15 clinical trials that are currently ongoing to investigate the therapeutic benefits of own cord blood stored at birth. The members of Cord Blood Europe have released 32 grafts either for individual treatments or for participants in clinical trials. Out of this total, 22 were destined for autologous and, respectively, 10 for allogeneic transplantation.

“The important number of samples stored by the members of Cord Blood Europe reflects clear interest from the European parents-to-be in preserving their child’s cord blood as well as the fact that family cord blood banks are a reliable source of stem cells for transplantation. Moreover, we also have cases where parents voluntarily donated the sample stored for family use upon request for an unrelated allogeneic transplantation. This interesting development offers new perspectives in the debate on the balance between social solidarity and parents’ freedom of choice.” says the President of Cord Blood Europe, Dr. med. Eberhard F. Lampeter.

Cord Blood Europe appreciates the recent debate in the European Parliament on improving the level of information to parents about the advantages of cord blood stem cells. The members of the association reiterate their call for objectivity and impartiality in the delivery of this information. “Information to parents is an essential condition for increasing the number of cord blood stem cells stored in Europe.

Objectivity and freedom of choice are obligatory for the respect of citizen’s rights in a democratic society. ” adds Doctor Lampeter.

***
ABOUT CORD BLOOD EUROPE:
Cord Blood Europe A.I.S.B.L. (not-for-profit) is the European Association of Family Cord Blood Banks and has its representation offices in Brussels. Seven leading stem cell storage companies from various European countries – Crioestaminal (Portugal), Cryo-Save (The Netherlands), Future Health Biobank (United Kingdom),
Polski Bank Komorek Macierzystych (Poland), StemCare (Denmark), Swiss Stem Cells Bank (Switzerland) and VITA 34 (Germany) – have established this professional association in January 2009.
 

Cord Blood Europe provides a platform of co-operation and exchange of best practices in the field of stem cell storage and regenerative medicine. The association members - active in all EU and EFTA countries - encourage and contribute to a harmonized regulatory framework of European policies on cells and tissues, and comply with the highest levels of safety and quality in their laboratories. The members of Cord Blood Europe believe that parents should receive objective information about and have free choice between the four options currently existing regarding cord blood at birth: public donation, family storage, donation for research and discard.

For more information, please contact:
www.cordbloodeurope.org

Eberhard Lampeter, President P: + 49 341 48 79 20
Lampeter@vita34.de

Peter Tulkens, Secretary General P: + 32 477 19 80 67
peter.tulkens@cordbloodeurope.org

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