This stem cell shortage, or lack of availability, is mostly affecting patients of African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American Indian descent. I, being a minority member of this group, am very concerned by this shortage
Miami, Florida (PRWEB) December 31, 2012
Jose Cirino aligns himself with 10+ leading physicians in Miami, Florida to provide a series of educational seminars on the medical benefits of umbilical cord blood stem cell banking. Cirino has leveraged more than a decade of experience in the biotech industry and is a founding member of GeneCell International, Miami’s preferred cord blood bank. As Director of Operations he has expanded the company as well as the educational awareness in the field of adult stem cells worldwide. As the minority birth population continues to increase in Miami Florida, the gateway to international countries, Cirino feels it is essential the community is aware of the full potential of this benefit.
Umbilical cord blood preservation is a process by which blood is collected from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby and is stored cryogenically in a specially-designated bank. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, cord blood contains cells that can be transfused to a patient to treat various diseases, including lymphoma and leukemia. Currently, there are approximately 80 treatable diseases and the list of illnesses continues to grow. Cord blood is rich in stem cells and because certain immune cells found in the cord blood are not mature, there is less risk for the recipient’s immune system to reject these cells. Cord blood can be used to treat the child from whom the blood was collected as well as some first-degree relatives who are a close genetic match, such as immediate family members. Additionally, patients can get the treatment in about three weeks - as opposed to six to eight for bone marrow from an adult donor.
“A person’s blood stem cell type is inherited, which means a patient is more likely to find a matched donor from within their own ethnic group, more than half of cord blood donations and privately banked cord blood in the United States are from Caucasians while minorities remain underrepresented, significantly. By increasing awareness of the advantages of cord blood among minorities, there is a potential for increased access to therapies for more people”, said Cirino.
“Due to this lack of awareness, there is a massive shortage of stem cell units stored for future treatments. This shortage, or lack of availability, is mostly affecting patients of African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American Indian descent. I, being a minority member of this group, am very concerned by this shortage.” Since patients who need a transplant are more likely to find a match within their own genetic background, Cirino adds, it is important that the pool of donors reflects the overall community.
Through Cirino’s field of work, his aspiration has been to be able to assist individuals in potentially saving their life when a debilitating immune deficiency or disorder arises. Though, Cirino continuously asks himself, “Why isn't everyone banking these cells?”
His best assumption is that people are not informed about stem cell banking and what is most disheartening, some have never even heard of it. Most people are not aware they have stem cells in their body. Others believe that stem cells only come from only human embryos since this is what’s mainly discussed in politics and the news today. May this be the reason they are choosing to have no part in it and ignore it? “If so, this is not the case, these cells are found in adults and there are not controversial, moral, ethical or have any political issues surrounding them. The amazing thing about these cells, aside from their potential to treat a variety of different diseases, is that for the most part they can be harvested from the individual through relatively minimally invasive procedures and can be cryogenically frozen (at a temperature of -321 F (-196 C)) and stored for decades until a disease manifests itself or the needed for cell-based therapies arises," said Cirino.
Cirino has also been working with the dental and plastic surgery/esthetic community in providing their patients other sources of stem cells, Dental Pulp Stem Cells and Adipose Tissue Stem Cells.
About Dental Pulp - One of the major advantages one gets from harvesting stem cells from his own body is that there will be no rejection of these cells when they are harvested and subsequently re-implanted. In the future, medical researchers anticipate being able to use technologies derived from stem cell research to treat a wider variety of diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, heart diseases, liver disease, multiple sclerosis, muscle damage and many other diseases. The discovery that human dental pulp tissue contains a population of multi-potent mesenchymal dental pulp stem cells with the ability to reproduce quickly for self-renewal and the ability to differentiate into functional odontoblast has revolutionized dental research and opened new avenues in particular for reparative and reconstructive dentistry and tissue engineering in general.
About Adipose Tissue - Adipose (fat) tissue is a dynamic multi-functional tissue that is found throughout the human body. The stem cells originated from adipose tissue are mesenchymal stem cells which have the ability to differentiate into bone, muscle, fat, nerve, and cartilage. Preliminary research performed at GeneCell International has shown the presence of early stem cells markers as well. Adipose-derived stem cells are easy to obtain through a simple and localized liposuction process using local anesthesia and with minimal patient discomfort. These autologous adult stem cells show the same morphology, immune phenotype and differentiation capacity as stem cells obtained from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood. They are free of ethical debate and use tissue which is abundant and easy to access. A single sample of adipose tissue can yield more than 200 million stem cells of which 95% are mesenchymal stem cells. These cells appear to be one of the body’s tools for self-repair. They are capable of performing three important functions with unique abilities such as plasticity (their potential to transform into other cell types), honing (they can travel to the damaged tissue), engraftment: their capability to attach themselves to the damaged tissue, Adipose-derived stem cells have the potential to treat a variety of different diseases and conditions that range from breast soft tissue reconstruction after tumor surgery to treatment of brain injuries, stroke, heart failure and more.
GeneCell International specializes in the collection, transport, processing and cryogenic storage of adult stem cells from various sources including; umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, dental pulp and adipose tissue (fat) that can later be used to treat a variety of diseases. The laboratory is also involved in scientific research and development with a range of stem cells from various adult tissues. The facility is governed and inspected by the FDA as well several other regulating bodies to ensure the safety of these cellular therapies. Headquartered in Miami, Florida and with local offices in Central Florida, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, India, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, GeneCell operates state of the art laboratories and storage facilities for the cord blood, cord tissue, dental pulp and adipose tissue of thousands of clients. For more information and to learn more about GeneCell, its services and the stem cell sources, please visit GeneCell's website at http://www.GeneCell.com, their Facebook page, Twitter Page, Pinterest Page, or YouTube Video Page.