This was in a recent HLAA e-newsletter sent out to all members:
Promising research has led to the first clinical trial to evaluate the safety of cord blood stem cell treatments for hearing loss. According to a study published in Cell Transplantation, animal subjects treated with cord blood stem cells showed significant healing to the damaged sensory hair cells and neurons in the inner ear. Dr. James Baumgartner, pediatric neurosurgeon, and colleagues at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston will launch the first FDA-regulated clinical trial evaluating the use of cord blood stem cell treatments for children with hearing loss.
The year-long study will follow 10 children, aged six weeks to 18 months, with acquired or congenital (but not genetic) hearing loss. The trial will be selecting only patients who have stored their cord blood with CBR for this trial, to ensure consistency in the stem cell processing, storage and release for infusion.
Watch the video on this research. YouTube has it captioned but you have to activate the caption button. CBR is having the video captioned with the exact transcript; however, until then, the YouTube captions will be in place.
In my opinion, this is good news – more research into avenues of restoring hearing and correcting hearing loss will benefit many. Even if cord-blood stem cell treatments themselves are not the final solution, lessons learned about our genes and biological makeup will make it easier to find solutions that may not need cord-blood to begin treatment. To understand what cord-blood means, check out this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord_blood
CBR is “Cord Blood Registry,” a business that stores the umbilical cord blood (and optionally the umbilical cord tissue) in freezing banks for potential future use. This requires a processing fee and an annual storage fee. As of today, to store your child’s cord blood until they are 18, it could cost you between $4,000 to $7,000.