Stemcyte

Here are the key statistics.  Please review the Private Banking Page before reviewing companies

First banked cells back in 1995

Corporate Headquarters in Arcadia, CA / Lab located in Arcadia, CA(Primarily a donor bank)

Required AABB Accreditation: YES

Currently have over 25,000+ samples stored

100% sterile collection kits for use in vaginal or c-section deliveries

Collection kits pre-loaded with liquid anti-coagulant

Company does not separate stem cells from red blood cells – stores whole blood: Please review warning – CIMBTR Warning

Uses seamed multi-compartmental storage bags

2 privately banked samples released for use in transplant – ?% for Autologous use/?% for Allogeneic use (Company will not differentiate between donations vs. private samples)

www.stemcyteinc.com

15 Responses to “Stemcyte”

  1. Ian McCullough Says:

    Please confirm your information. From the website, and medical journals available to me on PubMed, it seems that StemCyte does process their samples. Their units are plasma depleted and not whole blood as your site suggests.

    With that said, it’s unclear how this CIMBTR Warning applies.

    Also, from my phone call with a rep from StemCyte, they report they are one of 2 centers in the U.S. that are both AABB and FACT (Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy) for public and private donations.

    It seems that is the reason why they do differentiate between their public and private transplants. Their site lists over 800 transplants! That’s much more than 2. May I ask your source for your number of transplants?

    I’d like to see where you are getting this information for this site. Attributing to sources would make you much more creditable.

    • cordbloodreviews Says:

      The CIMBTR warning talks in reference to red blood cells. A plasma depleted sample is not a red cell depleted sample. As, StemCyte does not red cell deplete or remove the stem cells from the collection, the warning is appropriate to be displayed.

      We called StemCyte to ask them in the past how many private samples had they released, not donated samples. After a long period of asking, they finally told us that they had only released two privately and that the 800 were donated samples for treatment or clinical trials. In more recent follow up calls, they would not differentiate the numbers and so we have left the number as is. If you are paying the company to privately bank your sample, it is important to know that if you need your sample that it will be there and be able to be used. Companies that will not provide that information but want to inflate the numbers by talking about donated samples, do not provide data that should reassure families.

  2. What’s the difference between a cord blood transplant that has been privately banked versus publicly banked?

    • cordbloodreviews Says:

      In regards to transplant experience, this is more about their entire methods and not the processing method by itself. The reason it is so important to separate privately banked samples from private samples is that if you paid for your sample to be stored, you want to be assured that if you need that particular sample that it is going to be large enough and viable for use. With donor banks, they could pull multiple samples if they were a match to find a viable sample and might even combine samples to be able to be used. You do not have that luxury when you privately bank and therefore you only want to see what samples were released that they processed and banked.

      • That doesn’t seem to make any sense to me at all, maybe I’m just confused. Isn’t the size of the cord blood collection determined when it’s actually collected?
        Plus, if you needed more cord blood for a transplant, doesn’t everyone have access to the public banks? So if you do privately bank and you need more cells, couldn’t you get them from a public bank?? Very confused. Sorry to keep asking these questions. I’m just trying to understand this whole issue.

      • cordbloodreviews Says:

        Great questions and a source of confusion for many. The amount of blood collected will have an influence on the amount of cells. However, when you go to use the cells, the cells have to have been extracted from the plasma and red blood cells. Hence the processing methods of the cells will determine the how many are available for use, as different methods will produce different results.

        As for accessing cells, there are two types of transplant autologous(requiring one’s own cells) and allogeneic(using someone elses cells). If you need the cells for an autologous transplant, you cannot go to a donor bank for a sample. The treatments with the highest likelihood of use currently all require autologous transplants.

  3. I received a letter from StemCyte saying my child’s cord blood unit had a positive sterility test. The letter said that FDA informed them that federal regulations will not allow the release this type of cord blood unit for transpantation. Does it mean that my child’s cord blood can no longer use and that my money is gone with the wind? I am trying to find out when was this regulation from FDA was issued and whether I am entitiled to get a refund from Stemcyte?

    • cordbloodreviews Says:

      We cannot advise you on what steps to take. However, I would review your contract as to what liabilities they take when storing cells. Did they find the sample to be unusable before or after storage? It is assumed that you should only be paying for services rendered on valid samples able to be used in treatment. Most banks test for viability prior to storing and will not charge if they are not able to store a viable sample. If the sample is not viable on release, then the bank should take on some liability in regards the sample they stored for you.

      Please let us know what transpires and provide any supporting documentation for us so that we can further inform families.

  4. I spoke to StemCyte today. I was told this FDA regulation just came out recently that does not allow contamination cord blood to be used for transplantation. Initially, I was told that our kids’ cord blood tested with positive sterility. I did not know what it mean, and they didn’t explain what it meant and didn’t say anything about should or should not store the cord bloods. I asked StemCyte what were my choices. I was told that: (1) I don’t have to pay for yearly storage fee, but I won’t be able to invoke the clause that “they would find other sources if transplantation needed; (2) We keep paying yearly storage fee and will be able to invoke the clause above; (3) Get 50% back from my original payment if I cancel the current contract. I will try to look at my contracts to see whether I can get 100% back since our kids’ cord bloods are not usable…

    • cordbloodreviews Says:

      For the readers out there, this was posted to help families to understand why they need to review the contracts when choosing a cord blood bank. As the information is just an email and not verified, we cannot confirm that the information is accurate, but it does provide important information to help families when choosing a bank.

      When a bank states that they will find other sources, the question you need to ask is does finding a sample include the cost of the sample. Most donor samples are not free to retrieve and have had costs as high as $25k. Also, are they only searching their own client donor database or are they including the entire world donor databases.

  5. Hi,i met one of stemcyte executive in india and they are claiming that plasma depletion tech. is superior than plasma+red cell depletion tech.
    I would like to know that the warning which has been issued by you,how is this applicable to this process and can i have the full artical or information about this warning?
    Is the processing cost less in comparision of traditional {plasma+red cell depletion}process?
    Require prompt information as i am planing to store my child’s stemcell.Waiting eagerly.
    Thanks,
    Rashesh Shah.

    • cordbloodreviews Says:

      Plasma Depletion only removes the Plasma.
      Red Cells must also be removed before transplantation
      Hence, red cell depletion or stem cell recovery processes provided the best samples
      Just as you are asking us for data, I would ask stemcyte for published medical journal articles that show their plasma depletion method being superior to other processing methods.
      You should follow up with CIMBTR in regards to their warning for more information.

  6. StemCyte website lists a lot of articles published by Dr. R. Chow on the Plasma Depletion technology and its comparison with RBC depletion. Some of the references are at the following place
    http://www.stemcytefamily.com/pdf/Publications-and-Presentations.pdf

    There are also several articles on the net by Dr. Chow. He also spoke about it at International UCB Transplant Symposium

    http://www.cordbloodsymposium.org/la_2009/programinfo/scientificprog.php

    Would you still have doubts about the technology? I am also curious as I am about to take a decision on which company to go for. I have talked to three cord blood banks in India and still unclear on which one to pick. Plasma Depletion vs RBC depletion has created a lot of confusion in my mind. Can you please provide some help on this?

    Thanks a lot

    • cordbloodreviews Says:

      You have to read through what Stemcyte claims to understand where the differences are. Yes, if you only remove the plasma prior to storage, you may have more stem cells being stored at the time of storage. However, when you release the cells for transplant, you have two issues. RBC’s have a tendency to rupture during cryogenic storage. You therefore have to wash samples of the RBC’s prior to transplant. With a higher volume of RBC’s in samples that are only plasma depleted, you will lose more stem cells during the washing process. We are not saying that the process is a bad process, but when you are trying to find the highest possible yield, you want to look at RBC depleted samples.

  7. Thnaks to give us the details.
    I have some another doubts about stemcyte procedure.
    1]They are claiming that Dr.chow published an artical showas that plasma depleted tech. is superior.
    ^ But there is nither any authenticated comparision nor published in any medical journal like NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.Being company person he can publish anyway.How can we believe this?
    ANY COMMENT…….
    2]They are saying that by using this tech. more stemcell can be stored.
    Is red cells are also containing stemcell?Because as per my research stemcell can be derive only form white cell.
    3]Is it possible to cut processing cost by using plasma deplation tech.?

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