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J.P. McCarthy Fund Grants $250,000 to Karmanos Cancer Institute
Date:7/30/2008

match through their siblings, 70 percent of the time there isn't a match.

The need for ethnic and minority stem cells also continues to increase. The J. P. McCarthy Cord Stem Cell Bank at Karmanos currently has the highest percentage of African-American units banked within the National Marrow Donor Registry.

The cord blood and placenta, often discarded as medical waste, are rich in life-giving cells needed to fight diseases. Unlike donated marrow, the cord blood unit does not have to match the patient's tissue type as closely as donated marrow does. Therefore, more patients are able to get stem cell transplants than ever before.

"We are very grateful for the support of the J.P. McCarthy Fund which will help us build our inventory of quality cord blood units," said Karmanos Cancer Institute President and CEO John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D. "Utilizing cord blood for stem cell transplants will ultimately help thousands of people fight life-threatening diseases. We hope more expecting parents will decide to donate cord blood and help save lives."

Hospitals that are partnering with Karmanos to collect the cord blood include Providence Hospital, St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, and the ProMedica Health System in Toledo. Once the parent(s) make the decision to donate the cord blood, they pre-register during the pregnancy, sign a consent form and do a simple blood test prior to the delivery of the child to make sure there are no infectious diseases. After the birth of the child, the collection of cord blood is taken from the umbilical cord and the placenta. The cord blood is tested and processed, and only that which meets the criteria is frozen and stored in the J.P. McCarthy Cord Stem Cell Bank at Karmanos. This does not interfere with the birthing process. All information is kept confidential. What was once discarded as medical waste has the potential to help save lives.

The J.P. McCarthy Fund was instrumental in developing the cord ste
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SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute
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