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Why store NK Cells

Umbilical cord blood is one of the best sources of NK cells: it is richer in them than peripheral blood and bone marrow, contains progenitors absent in peripheral blood, and requires simpler isolation procedures.

For this reason, in addition to making available a high quantity of hematopoietic stem cells, the cryopreservation of umbilical cord blood also guarantees a valuable reserve of NK cells for autologous use (i.e. by the same individual from which they were taken) or haploidentical (i.e. by relatives compatible to 50%).

Furthermore, thanks to methods based on GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards, starting from cryopreserved umbilical cord blood samples, it is possible to obtain large quantities of functional NK cells.

NK cells from umbilical cord blood for use in transplants

The possible benefits of NK cell therapy depend on the availability of compatible donors. Unfortunately, the probability of incompatibility between siblings is 75%. Furthermore, the small size of many families makes it even more difficult to find a compatible donor.

All this means that in the case of hematopoietic stem cell transplants; only 30% of patients have a compatible sibling. In situations of this type, haploidentical (i.e. 50% compatible) donors represent a possible solution.

For this reason, storing the umbilical cord blood at birth means setting aside a supply of NK cells that can be used both by the child and by his/her closest family members.

NK cells for haploidentical use

Currently, many approaches have been attempted to get patients’ NK cells to kill tumor cells. Among other things, antibodies have been used to stimulate or inhibit specific receptors that control NK cell activity. From this point of view, the use of haploidentical NK cells could even represent an advantage, because they eliminate some obstacles that can compromise the efficacy of autologous transplants.
Studies to date have shown that the infusion of haploidentical NK cells is a safe practice.

Are you pregnant?

Are you thinking of storing your child's stem cells?

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord after the baby is born and is a valuable source of stem cells.

Until recently it was treated as “waste” and eliminated with hospital waste along with the placenta and the umbilical cord. It is currently used in the treatment of around 100 serious diseases.

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