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You can store your child’s cells of your child in a family / private storage bank or alternatively in a donation bank. The following table summarizes the differences between family / private bank  and donation to public or private bank.

 Question

Family / private storage

Donation Bank

Why is it important  to store stem cells from umbilical cord blood?

Family / private storage ensures that the child’s stem cells are stored for use only by members of the family. Stem cells belong to the family and only they can use them.

In donation, stem cells are stored for a future use from a compatible, non family member. Stem cells do not belong to the family and the family will likely need to seek compatible donor if a member becomes ill and a transplant is needed.(the probability of finding suitable donor from a public bank is 1:30,000).

What is the graft versus host disease rate after a stem cell transplant?

The survival rate if stem cells of a related donor are used (e.g. family member), compared to  stem cells from an unrelated donor (by donation bank) is double. Overall survival rates using unrelated donor stem cells (by donation bank) is much lower than survival rates after transplantation of stem cells derived from within the family.
Who can store stem cells from umbilical cord blood? All families can store stem cells in private / family banks. It is impossible to store only samples that violates Greek legislation.

The storage depends on many factors, such as the medical history of the family, tattoos, lifestyle, possible travels to certain countries,etc.

What happens to my child’s stem cells after collection? After collection, sample is processed and tested and the isolated cord blood stem cells are stored for future use. Family will be informed with the official certificate including analytical laboratory results and details about the successful storage of the cells for autologous or alogeneic use.

Samples meeting all prerequisites for storage in a donation bank will be stored for use by a patient (outside the family) looking compatible transplant, or for research purposes.  Donation banks store less than 30% of cord blood samples collected at birth. Furthermore, family is not informed about the successful storage of the sample.

How soon can my family have the  stem cells, if needed? Stem cells stored in a private / family bank are readily available and can be delivered for use in a very short time (within 24 hours from your physician’s request), after our Medical Director communicates with Hellenic Transpanlts Organization (EOM) .

If you donate your child’s stem cells to a public or private donation bank, no one can guarantee that there will be there if a family member will need them If a family member becomes ill and in need for stem cells transplantation,he/she will need to seek for a compatible donor worldwide. (The probability of finding one is 1: 30,000). 1/3 of patients in need of stem cells transplantation dies before a compatible graft is found.

What is the cost for collecting and storing umbilical cord blood stem cells? In Omnigen, the cost for the collection and storage of hematopoietic stem cells from the umbilical cord is such as to allow parents to store this valuable biological material for their child or a family member. We also offer parents flexible payment packages (such as interest free installments by credit card)

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There is no cost for the collection and storage of hematopoietic stem cells from umbilical cord blood if the family decides to donate. However, if someone needs stem cells for transplantation, if a compatible donor is found, the cost outside Greece can be very high (> € 30.000 -the cost is usually covered by a medical insurance).

1.Gluckman E et al. N Engl J Med. 1997, 337, 373-381