Submerged in liquid nitrogen vapor at a temperature of minus 175 degrees Celsius, hundreds of thousands of stem cells from all over Europe bide their time in large steel barrels on the outskirts of Warsaw.
Present in blood drawn from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby, stem cells can help cure serious blood-related illnesses like leukemias and lymphomas, as well as genetic conditions and immune system deficits.
Polish umbilical cord blood bank PBKM/FamiCord became the industrys leader in Europe after Swiss firm Cryo-Save went bankrupt early last year.
It is also the fifth largest in the world, according to its management, after two companies in the United States, a Chinese firm and one based in Singapore.
Since the first cord blood transplant was performed in France in 1988, the sector has significantly progressed, fuelling hopes.
Mum-of-two Teresa Przeborowska has firsthand experience.
At five years old, her son Michal was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant, the entrepreneur from northern Poland said.
The most compatible donor was his younger sister, Magdalena.
When she was born, her parents had a bag of her cord blood stored at PBKM.
More than three years later, doctors injected his sisters stem cells into Michals bloodstream.
It was not quite enough for Michals needs but nicely supplemented harvested bone marrow.
As a result, Michal, who is nine, is now flourishing, both intellectually and physically, his mum told AFP.
A cord blood transplant has become an alternative to a bone marrow transplant when there is no donor available, with a lower risk of complications.
Stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood are like those taken from bone marrow, capable of producing all blood cells: red cells, platelets and immune system cells.
When used, stem cells are first concentrated, then injected into the patient. Once transfused, they produce new cells of every kind.
At the PBKM laboratory, each container holds up to 10,000 blood bags Safe and secure, they wait to be used in the future, its head, Krzysztof Machaj, said.
The bank holds around 440,000 samples, not including those from Cryo-Save, he said.
If the need arises, the blood will be ready to use without the whole process of looking for a compatible donor and running blood tests, the biologist told AFP.
For families who have paid an initial nearly 600 euros (around P34,000) and then an annual 120 euros (around P7,000) to have the blood taken from their newborns umbilical cords preserved for around 20 years, it is a kind of health insurance promising faster and more effective treatment if illness strikes.
But researchers also warn against unrealistic expectations.
Hematologist Wieslaw Jedrzejczak, a bone marrow pioneer in Poland, describes promoters of the treatment as sellers of hope, who make promises that are either impossible to realize in the near future or downright impossible to realize at all for biological reasons.
He compares them to makers of beauty products who swear their cream will rejuvenate the client by 20 years.
Various research is being done on the possibility of using the stem cells to treat other diseases, notably nervous disorders. But the EuroStemCell scientist network warns that the research is not yet conclusive.
There is a list of almost 80 diseases for which stem cells could prove beneficial, U.S. hematologist Roger Mrowiec, who heads the clinical laboratory of the cord blood program Vitalant in New Jersey, told AFP.
But given the present state of medicine, they are effective only for around a dozen of them, like leukemia or cerebral palsy, he said.
Its not true, as its written sometimes, that we can already use them to fight Parkinsons disease or Alzheimers disease or diabetes.
EuroStemCell also cautions against private blood banks that advertise services to parents suggesting they should pay to freeze their childs cord blood in case its needed later in life.
Studies show it is highly unlikely that the cord blood will ever be used for their child, the network said.
It also pointed out that there could be a risk of the childs cells not being useable anyway without reintroducing the same illness.
Some countries, such as Belgium and France, are cautious and ban the storage of cord blood for private purposes. Most E.U. countries however permit it while imposing strict controls.
In the early 2000s, Swiss company Cryo-Save enjoyed rapid growth.
Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Spaniards and Swiss stored blood from their newborns with the company for 20 years on payment of 2,500 euros (around P140,000) upfront.
When the firm was forced to close in early 2019, clients were left wondering where their stem cells would end up.
Under a kind of back-up agreement, the samples of some 250,000 European families were transferred for storage at PBKM.
The Polish firm, founded in 2002 with 2 million zlotys (around P26 million), has also grown quickly.
Present under the FamiCord brand in several countries, PBKM has some 35% of the European market, excluding Cryo-Save assets.
Over the last 15 months, outside investors have contributed 63 million euros to the firm, PBKMs chief executive Jakub Baran told AFP.
But the company has not escaped controversy: the Polityka weekly recently published a critical investigative report on several private clinics that offer what was described as expensive treatment involving stem cells held by PBKM.IB/JB
2019: The year gene therapy came of age
Landmark trial finds stem cell treatment reduces disability for those with multiple sclerosis
Read the rest here:
Europe's guardian of stem cells and hopes, real and unrealistic - INQUIRER.net
- Hawaii Five-0 To End After 10 Seasons On CBS, Sets Two-Hour Series Finale - New York Post - February 28th, 2020
- PAX1 is essential for development and function of the human thymus - Science - February 28th, 2020
- Indiana Regenerative Medicine Institute Offers Innovative Approaches in Regenerative Medicine, Hormone Replacement and Pain Management - Carmel... - February 28th, 2020
- Adaptimmune Reports Fourth Quarter / Full Year 2019 Financial Results and Business Update - GlobeNewswire - February 28th, 2020
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Stem Cell Therapy Market Key Development by 2025 - News Times - February 28th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy for Coronavirus Infection - Benzinga - February 28th, 2020
- New technique developed to treat hardening of internal organs - WNDU-TV - February 28th, 2020
- Orchard Therapeutics Reports 2019 Financial Results and Reviews Key Strategic Priorities for 2020 - BioSpace - February 28th, 2020
- Cells carrying Parkinson's mutation could lead to new model for studying disease - University of Wisconsin-Madison - February 28th, 2020
- How targeting tumor blood vessels may help overcome treatment resistance in glioblastoma - FierceBiotech - February 28th, 2020
- Orchard Therapeutics (ORTX) Q4 2019 Earnings Call Transcript - Motley Fool - February 28th, 2020
- Treatment in clinical trial offers options to woman fighting return of cancer (+ video) - WRAL Tech Wire - February 28th, 2020
- Car T-cell therapy: The future fifth pillar of cancer treatment - The Irish Times - February 28th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis to Reap Excessive Revenues by 2019-2025 - News Times - February 28th, 2020
- BioLineRx Announces Notice of Allowance from USPTO for Patent Covering Motixafortide (BL-8040) in Combination With Anti-PD-1 for the Treatment of Any... - February 28th, 2020
- uniQure Presents Multiple New Preclinical Data on AMT-130 at the CHDI's 15th Annual Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference - GlobeNewswire - February 28th, 2020
- Bit Bio Secures Distribution Agreement with Abcam to Democratize Access to Human Cells for Global Life Science Research - Gooruf - February 28th, 2020
- CAR T-Cell Therapy Improves Health-Related QOL in Adult Patients With R/R DLBCL - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network - February 26th, 2020
- 2020 Cell Therapy Bioprocessing Conference (Boston, MA, United States - June 25-26, 2020) - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire - February 26th, 2020
- Bucks County Surgeon Battling ALS To Receive Special Honor At 4th Annual Gala Of Hope - CBS Philly - February 26th, 2020
- Humans soon able to regrow spines as body given 'new power to heal itself' - Daily Star - February 26th, 2020
- Radiation Kills Cancer Cells, But May Also Protect Some Tumor Stem Cells That Can Spread - MedicalResearch.com - February 26th, 2020
- Musculoskeletal Disorder Stem Cell Therapy Market Report 2019: With Essential Analysis of Market, Industry News and Policies by Regions, Top... - February 26th, 2020
- Mice with diabetes "functionally cured" using new stem cell therapy - New Atlas - February 24th, 2020
- Consistent Outcomes Using Ryoncil as First-Line Treatment or Salvage Therapy in 309 Children With Steroid-Refractory Acute GVHD - BioSpace - February 24th, 2020
- Stem Cell Alopecia Treatment Market Size, Current Trends, Business Opportunities, Market Challenges and Analysis by 2026 - News Parents - February 24th, 2020
- Tackling the Challenges in Cell and Gene Therapy... - Labiotech.eu - February 24th, 2020
- Experimental study speeds up bone healing with 2 common medications - New Atlas - February 24th, 2020
- Red Cross and American Cancer Society Partnering to Help Cancer Patients - WLTZ 38 NBC - February 24th, 2020
- Meet 20 European Immuno-Oncology Companies that are Fighting... - Labiotech.eu - February 24th, 2020
- Michael Schumacher reportedly underwent breakthrough treatment; Here are details of the secret procedure - EconoTimes - February 24th, 2020
- American Red Cross and American Cancer Society partner to inspire people to help patients and Give Blood to Give Time - NNY360 - February 24th, 2020
- Preemptive Anti-IL-6 May Cut Severe CRS With CAR-T Tx - MedPage Today - February 24th, 2020
- Kadmon Announces Expanded Results of Interim Analysis of Pivotal Trial of KD025 in cGVHD - Yahoo Finance - February 24th, 2020
- Better Quality CR With One AML Therapy vs Another? - MedPage Today - February 24th, 2020
- Austin Aries Announces Position With Stem Cell Therapy Company, Says He Met With AEW Regarding Partnership - LordsofPain.net - February 24th, 2020
- New hope for the healing of spinal column injuries with generally available drugs - The Washington Newsday - February 24th, 2020
- Crohn's Disease Treatment Market Development, Top Trends and Future Scope with Upcoming Opportunities - Instant Tech News - February 24th, 2020
- From Germany with love: Alfie, four, meets his stem cell saviour - Express - February 24th, 2020
- Leukemia: Cancer Of The Blood - Modern Ghana - February 24th, 2020
- Study tests whether stem cells heal arthritis in large dogs - Los Angeles Times - February 20th, 2020
- Stem cells and the heartthe road ahead - Science Magazine - February 20th, 2020
- Report: Austin Aries DDP Trying To Get AEW To Buy Into Stem Cell Treatment Venture - Fightful - February 20th, 2020
- On the Trail of Cancer Stem Cells - Technology Networks - February 20th, 2020
- Rare disease outlook 2020: three therapies set to make waves this year - pharmaceutical-technology.com - February 20th, 2020
- Dutch startup Neuroplast raises 4M for its stem cell-based technology to treat patients with Spinal Cord Injury - Silicon Canals - February 20th, 2020
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020-2026: Product Types, by Applications, By Market Trends, Market Reserach Report - Keep Reading - February 20th, 2020
- Global demand of Stem Cell Therapy Market will boom in coming years - Nyse Nasdaq Live - February 20th, 2020
- Combination Enfortumab Vedotin + Pembrolizumab Granted Breakthrough Therapy in Bladder Cancer - OncoZine - February 20th, 2020
- Vascular endotheliumtargeted Sirt7 gene therapy rejuvenates blood vessels and extends life span in a Hutchinson-Gilford progeria model - Science... - February 20th, 2020
- The fight against blood cancer continues - Sherbrooke Record - February 20th, 2020
- Stem Cell Manufacturing in Stem Cell Therapy, Drug Discovery & Development, Stem Cell Banking, and More (2020-2025) - P&T Community - February 18th, 2020
- Should California invest another $5.5 Billion into stem cell research? - Long Beach Business Journal - Long Beach News - February 18th, 2020
- Chinese Scientist Unite Together to Tackle With COVID-19 - Associated Press - February 18th, 2020
- Cell Therapy Market 2020: Growing with Technology Development, New Innovations, Future Projections, In-depth Analysis and Forecast by 2025 - News... - February 18th, 2020
- Lineage Cell Therapeutics to Present New Data From OpRegen and Vision Restoration Programs at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology... - February 18th, 2020
- bluebird bio Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results and Highlights Operational Progress - Yahoo Finance - February 18th, 2020
- UCLA researchers discover new compound that promotes lung health - UCLA Newsroom - February 18th, 2020
- Could this patch help mend a broken heart? - Medical Design & Outsourcing - February 18th, 2020
- BEGEV Salvage Regimen Linked to High Complete Remission Rates - Cancer Therapy Advisor - February 18th, 2020
- Exosome-Based Treatment Targeting KRAS G12D-Mutated Pancreatic Cancer to Enter Human Studies Next Month - Precision Oncology News - February 18th, 2020
- US FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation for Retrotopes RT001 in the Treatment of Progressive SupraNuclear Palsy (PSP) - Yahoo Finance - February 18th, 2020
- Mustang Bio Announces First Subject Treated in Phase 1/2 Trial with the Optimized CD20-targeted CAR T Cell Therapy MB-106The subject achieved a... - February 18th, 2020
- 34 Years with a New Heart and Counting | 90.1 FM WABE - WABE 90.1 FM - February 18th, 2020
- FREE Brunch with a Doc! Regenerative Options for Orthopedic Conditions - Englewood Herald - February 18th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy seminar - The Wilton Bulletin - February 18th, 2020
- SMAC mimetics and RIPK inhibitors as therapeutics for chronic inflammatory diseases - Science - February 18th, 2020
- Stem Cell Alopecia Treatment Market Analysis With Key Players, Applications, Trends and Forecast To 2026 - Instant Tech News - February 18th, 2020
- Michael Schumacher health: Whatever happened to F1 legend's 'miracle' treatment? Hamilton closing in to match Schumi's record - EconoTimes - February 18th, 2020
- Hunter Syndrome Treatment Market : In-depth Analysis to Understand the Competitive Outlook of the Global Industry with Future Estimation - Nyse Nasdaq... - February 18th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Overview 2020: Significance and Outlook By Top Players MEDIPOST, PHARMICELL Co., Ltd, Holostem Terapie Avanzate Srl,... - February 18th, 2020
- Trends on Stem Cell Therapy Products Market Outlook 2020 Industry Analysis by Size, Share, Growth Factors, Technology, R&D Companies and Foresight to... - February 18th, 2020
- Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market 2019 Industry Outline, Global Executive Players, Interpretation and Benefit Growth... - February 18th, 2020
- Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Structure, Industry Inspection, and Forecast 2025 - News Times - February 18th, 2020
- Boots' advice to widows wary of marrying again - INQUIRER.net - February 16th, 2020
- My Third Stem Cell Treatment for MS - Everyday Health - February 15th, 2020
- JDRF Reaches New Milestones in Work to Drive Cures for Type 1 Diabetes and Improve Lives - Yahoo Finance - February 15th, 2020
- 'Genetic rewiring' by a microRNA gene drives cancer's drug resistance - The Institute of Cancer Research - February 15th, 2020
- Unproven Stem Cell Treatments Offer Hope & Risks - February 15th, 2020
- Update on stem cell treatment cost for 2018 from ongoing poll ... - February 15th, 2020