Umbilical Cord Blood and PA
I had not even thought of this until yesterday! When our 7 year old daughter was born, we had her umbilical cord blood stored at a Cord Blood Bank.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this procedure, when your child is born, the umbilical cord is usually discarded. However, in 1994, it was discovered that removal and storage of this blood in a Cord Blood Bank makes it feasible to save a child's life (or possibly that of a mother or sibling) if this blood is ever needed as a transplant to treat/cure a disease. You can also donate your newborn's cord blood to another family via the blood bank.
Cord blood is unique because it contains the earliest, safely collected, naive stem cells. It is one of the richest sources of stem cells and may be used to treat anything from leukemia to brain tumors. (For more information, check into [url="http://www.cordblood.com"]www.cordblood.com[/url] AND if you are expecting a child, I thoroughly URGE you to do so!)
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the blood from your baby's umbilical cord immediately after delivery, and freezing it for long-term cryogenic storage. The potential for treatment of various diseases is incredible with research being conducted for future potential treatment of Alzheimer's, Stroke, Diabetes, and Spinal Cord injuries just to name a few.
Anyway, I had not given any thought to this in relation to our daughter's peanut allergy until now. I have contacted the Cord Blood Registry and the University of Arizona with a variety of questions regarding whether these stem cells contain allergens.
Do any of you know if allergens are present in stem cells?? My main concern is, what if we ever had to use the cord blood (God forbid) and a vaccine or cure were developed for PA...if our daughter were not peanut allergic any longer and this blood were used, would this make the PA reoccur (or make the recipient peanut allergic)? (Guess I was thinking in the worst case scenario -- can you imagine someone going through a transplant and then eventually not even thinking about their prior peanut allergy and then, after all that, eating a peanut product only to die from anaphylactic shock??! Sounds crazy, I know, BUT...
Do any of you have any information/medical knowledge in this area? I would venture to say, "Could the stem cells be used to cure PA", BUT, I think I would elect to keep the blood for another disease or injury, if you know what I mean...I don't think a transplant is the answer to this one!!)
I'll keep you posted on what I find out.