FAQs

THE PRESERVATION PROCESS

1. How to conserve stem cells with Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science?

Keeping your child’s stem cells is very simple, our Customer Support will assist you step by step.

Contact us on 091 985 15 00 or email us at stemcells@nescens.com and you will receive all the necessary information on the collection and the bureaucratic procedure to be followed.

2. How are cord blood stem cells harvested?

Samples are collected immediately after birth, when the umbilical cord that unites the mother to the child is cut. The collection procedure is simple, takes a few minutes and is completely painless for both the mother and the child.

When the procedure is completed, call 091 960 22 20 to arrange the pickup. The samples will arrive directly in the laboratory where they will be processed and cryopreserved. Afterwards we will send you the results of the process and the Certification of the conservation of your samples.

3. What happens on the day of delivery?

Following your order, you will be sent the collection kit which you need to take to the hospital upon admission. Inside the kit, you will find the instructions and documentation necessary for the storage of your samples.

Before giving birth, make sure that all documents are completed, signed and placed inside the kit box or already delivered to Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science. Without your consent, the samples cannot be processed.

The blood and cord tissue is collected after the cord has been severed and the child has been removed. The health worker will place the samples of blood and cord tissue and the maternal samples inside the kit.

When the above procedure has been completed, contact the number 091 960 22 20 to arrange for your kit to be collected. If the birth takes place during the weekend or on holidays, keep the kit at room temperature, away from heat and call to announce the birth and organise the collection, which will take place the following Monday morning, or the first working day immediately after the holidays.

4. How are the samples transported?

The kit will be picked up by our dedicated courier for the transport of biological material and delivered directly to the laboratory.

Our collection kit is a thermal box that isolates the sample from external temperatures. It has its autonomy and keeps the samples in optimal conditions, at room temperature, until it reaches our laboratory. Inside the kit there are one or two (depending on the season) temperature stabilisers that guarantee the samples the temperature required during transport.

5. When will the samples be processed?

Your samples will be processed as soon as they arrive in the laboratory following the highest quality standards.

The laboratory processes 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, compliant with the guidelines, guaranteeing the best results to the client.

6. Why are samples processed before storage?

Before long-term freezing in liquid nitrogen, all samples of blood and cord blood are processed in such a way as to guarantee the quality of the samples taken and to exclude any possible contamination or bacteriology.

Each sample is individually processed by highly experienced and qualified laboratory technicians.

7. Where and how will my child's cells be stored?

Your child’s blood and cord blood samples will be processed and stored in a specialised facility based exclusively in Switzerland.

All storage tanks have an individual security system and are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

8. How to proceed if the samples were to be used in case of transplantation?

We hope you will never need it, but if it were to be, it will be our care to follow you along this path. If you need the stem cells for a therapeutic treatment, we will release the samples free of charge.

After agreeing the consent documents with you, we will agree with your doctor to arrange the safe delivery of the samples to the transplant centre indicated at the requested date and time.

9. Does stem cell collection affect the baby's birth?

The collection of blood and / or tissue of the anatomical tract of the umbilical cord does not interfere with the birth stages, nor does it alter the procedures with which the medical staff give birth to the child.

10. Does it change anything for stem cell collection if delivery should be by caesarean section?

No. Whether you opt for a natural birth, a caesarean section or an induced delivery, there should be no problem collecting your child’s stem cells.

11. Will there be enough blood to collect if I decide to retard?

We always advise the medical staff to perform the withdrawal in the first minute after delivery. Any action performed after this time limit may affect the amount of cord blood available.

12. What happens if I move abroad?

In any part of the world you live, the preservation of your samples at Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science (Switzerland) will always be guaranteed.

In the event of a transfer, please remember to inform us of your new address and contact information so that we can keep your data up-to-date.

STEM CELLS

1. What are stem cells?

Stem cells are not yet specialised, primitive cells, with the extraordinary ability to self-renew and differentiate into a multitude of cells. They create a direct link between the health of the child when it is born and the future.

If the child were to have any age-old health problem, stem cells can be the key to restoring their health.

Cord blood stem cells are already used in the treatment of over 80 diseases including leukaemia, anaemia and thalassaemia, with a constantly growing list. Those of the cordon tissue instead contribute to the growth, regeneration and repair of damaged tissues.

2. How many samples were used for transplants?

Since 1988, more than 40,000 cord blood samples have been used for clinical applications worldwide.

3. I kept the stem cells for my first child. Should I do it for the second one?

It is advisable to conserve stem cells for each child individually in order to ensure that you have a sample available with 100% compatibility for each of your children.

It is scientifically proven that there is a 25% probability of compatibility between brothers and sisters.

4. Why do you keep for only 25 years?

It is very likely that your samples are perfectly guaranteed and usable for a much longer period than this. Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science believes it is more ethical to initially offer a 25-year retention period, but of course when the contract comes to an end, the legitimate owner of the cells (who has reached age) will be contacted and receive a contract extension offer. Otherwise the cells will be destroyed or donated to research, with the owner’s consent.

5. What is the amount of cord blood required and how many stem cells could it contain?

A cord blood sample should be between 20 and 60 ml, although this may differ greatly due to the size of the umbilical cord itself and the birth circumstances.

The sample must contain a minimum number of stem cells CD34+ to allow us to consider it suitable for a possible future therapeutic treatment. If your cord blood sample does not meet this requirement, you will have the option to refuse storage.

6. Can I donate my stem cells?

In Switzerland,. there are several hospitals where you can choose to donate umbilical cord blood stem cells to the public banks system.

The umbilical cord blood stem cells could be used to treat someone else around the world. However, you will no longer have direct access to this precious sample. For more information, please contact the Swiss Italian Blood Transfusion Center (CRS).

7. What kind of information will I receive regarding my child's samples?

After the process and the preservation of the samples, you will receive a written confirmation together with the certificate of conservation which contains the univocal code of the samples, the stem cell count (CD34+), the results of the maternal blood tests and the results of the microbiological tests.

8. What diseases can currently be treated with cord blood stem cells?

Currently, cord blood stem cells can be used to treat a wide range of diseases (more than 80), including:

  • Red blood cell proliferation disorders (Anaemia, platelet disorders and others)
  • Hereditary disorders of the immune system (severe combined immunodeficiency, neutropenia and others)
  • Cancer (leukaemia, bone marrow cancer and more)
  • Hereditary metabolic disorders (mucopolysaccharidosis accumulation diseases, leukodystrophy disorders, etc.)

Hereditary disorders affecting the immune system and other organs (hair hypoplasia, Gunther’s disease)

9. How long will it take for the samples to be delivered to the laboratory after harvesting?

The laboratory has a time limit of 68 hours for the samples to arrive in the laboratory. Samples must be subjected to the separation procedure within 72 hours of birth.

10. What is the payment procedure?

After choosing the desired service, you can order and receive the collection kit through two options: payment by instalments in 25 months, or payment in a single payment. In the event that the procedure does not have a positive outcome, a refund is always guaranteed, depending on when the service is interrupted. Contact us for more information.

11. Are there special discounts for twin parties?

Yes. Contact us on 091 985 15 00 for more information.

12. Are discounts available to Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science customers?

Yes. Contact us on 091 985 15 00 for more information.

13. What is the difference between blood stem cells (Nescens Baby Classic contract) and cord blood (Nescens Baby Complete contract)?

Cord blood contains haematopoietic stem cells used for the treatment of blood-related diseases such as leukaemia, anaemia and thalassaemia.

The cord tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells able to specialise in a multitude of cells, capable of forming, for example, the muscular, cartilaginous, bone, connective or fatty tissues. They are mainly used in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cerebral palsy.

14. What happens in the event of a natural disaster or if the activity ceases to exist?

In the (highly unlikely) case where the bank where the samples are stored becomes insolvent, Nescens Swiss Stem Cell Science will transfer the samples to another equally accredited facility that will comply with the terms of the original agreement.

15. Is it worth keeping my child's stem cells?

Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are currently used to treat over 80 blood diseases and other related diseases. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are used in regenerative medicine with the ultimate goal of replacing, repairing or regenerating the vital function of cells and tissues. Stem cells are actively studied for the treatment of many diseases, such as cerebral palsy, type I diabetes, brain disorders, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, liver disorders, neurological diseases, and others.

16. Why should I conserve my child's stem cells if there are alternatives to storing umbilical cord blood?

There are alternatives to the preservation of cord blood, such as the removal of stem cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood. However, stem cord cells have numerous advantages: they are the youngest and most effective cells found in the human body, and are relatively free of environmental and electromagnetic contamination. Furthermore, the procedure for their collection is non-invasive and immediately available.

17. Can my child's stem cells also be used by other members of my family?

Your child’s stem cells can be used by anyone with a histocompatibility of at least 80%, such as a brother or sister. Stem cells of a relative (preferably brother/sister) are generally the first transplant option when considering the source of stem cells. In most allogeneic transplants (recipient other than donor) stem cells from a family member are used.

18. Can our stem cells be used even if the disease we wanted to treat was genetic in nature?

If the child had a genetic disease, such as sickle cell anaemia, the stem cells would have the same genetic defect. In the case that the autologous stem cells (from the person themself) could not be used, the cord blood of a brother / sister would be the best option.

19. How many samples of stem cells stored in private banks have been used successfully in the treatment of diseases?

It is estimated that around 600 samples were released from private cord blood banks for autologous and allogeneic transplants of a sibling or family member.