At MacArthur Medical Center, we care for thousands of pregnant people every year. We have babies coming out the wazoo! Every day we hear people call this the “miracle of life.”
Let’s look beyond the miracle and take a peek under the sheet at the scientific and technological advancements to modern healthcare that comes from giving birth.
MacArthur Medical Center is at the forefront of life-saving, cutting-edge medical research every single day, and our patients are the biggest players. Through MMC’s tissue donation program, we contribute to advancing some of healthcare’s most significant breakthroughs through stem cell donation that comes from the donated maternal tissues and fluids – like the placenta, cord blood, and amniotic fluid.
Don’t Let Lifesaving Material End Up in the Trash.
MMC doesn’t let good stem cells go to waste. Our medical providers harvest tissue and fluid from the extra stuff that comes out with the baby through the tissue donation program. We send the tissue to medical labs (rather than an incinerator), where researchers use the samples for life-saving therapies for people with serious illnesses like cancer.
FDA Approval for Research
Recently the FDA cleared the investigation of a new use for stem cells – like those harvested from our donor mommies – to fight specific cancers. Stem cells are cells found in people of all ages and have the unique ability to become any cell, like a hair cell or a blood cell. Researchers can create engineered Natural Killer cells to fight cancer cells through stem cell technology.
Natural Killer (NK) cells exist naturally in our bodies. They are a part of a healthy immune system, but heredity and environmental factors like unhealthy lifestyles and pollution can decrease our bodies’ number of NK cells. Stem cell therapies, like those recently approved for investigation and development, may help people survive gastric and esophageal (stomach and throat) cancer. These treatments are important because gastric cancers are the fifth most diagnosed cancers in the world. Despite recent advances in healthcare technology, they are still very deadly if not caught early.
Using NK cells found in the placenta, researchers have developed a cell-based therapy that holds great promise when combined with other therapy types like radiation or chemotherapy.
Have a Baby and Save a Life!
All patients who deliver with MMC can choose to have their placenta or other tissues and fluids used for various life-saving therapies. It doesn’t cost a thing, and put otherwise discarded maternal material to good use. Have a baby and save lives with MacArthur Medical Center.
Ask your provider about MMC’s tissue donation program today.
Blog Author: Dr. Jeff Livingston and Erin Cox
Main Blog Photo By: Janulla – Getty Images