Save the Cord Foundation and WellSky are proud to welcome Josefine Teeler, as our featured speaker for our next edition of Share the Science on December 12th, 2019.
Share the Science is a free webinar series focused on the cord blood industry and the latest research in this field. As always, we invite both health professionals and the general public to join us for this unique online educational series. Learn more about this exciting educational series here.
How is Cord Blood matched for Stem Cell Transplants?
Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) matching for Cord Blood Units (CBU) is much more complex than blood typing. This webinar will cover how to find the best match and what information is needed to select the most optimal CBU based on HLA profiles. Josefine Teeler, Team Lead - Transplant Center Services for Matchis Foundation will provide information on how matchgrade is determined for CBUs and the guidelines for selection.
She will also discuss the differences between n/6, n/8, and n/10 matchgrade. Attendees will also learn about minimal matchgrade and (permissive) mismatches. By choosing the best CBU for a patient not only HLA is considered, so therefore we will also briefly review the balance between matchgrade, cell dose and diagnosis of the patient.
What will you learn in this webinar?
Attendees of this Share the Science webinar will learn about cord blood unit selection based on HLA profiles and matchgrade. Josefine will explain how matchgrade is determined. She will go into detail regarding minimal matchgrade and how this is influenced by cell dose and/or diagnosis. She will review global guidelines as well as the characteristics and types of information regarding the HLA profiles that influence the final cord blood unit selection.
SHARE THE SCIENCE
Search Unit Team Leader at
"HLA Matching for Cord Blood"
Free webinar. Open to the public.
Thursday, December 12th, 2019 - 12pm Central Daylight Time
About the Speaker
Josefine Teeler is search unit team lead at Matchis foundation. She is also a search consultant performing analysis of patient’s profiles and Matched Unrelated Donor (MUD) and/or Cord Blood Units (CBU) selections on a daily basis. She advises physicians and clinical immunologists in the Netherlands on selecting the best possible product/donor for their patient taking into account HLA profiles, secondary criteria, virology, accreditation status of registries and (local) legislations.
At Matchis she is also responsible for the development of the internal educational program for new search coordinators and other employees. Apart from these activities, she developed educational materials for students from primary and secondary school regarding the subject Stem Cell transplantation. Ms. Teeler is also involved in the educational committee of the WMDA and is working together with other WMDA members on the revision of the international paper regarding the Search Coordinator job description.
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We wish to thank Josefine Teeler for volunteering her time to speak on
Share the Science and sharing her valuable insight on HLA matching for cord blood.
We also wish to thank our generous sponsor and partner for this event,
WellSky Health (formerly known as Mediware, Inc.), who continue to support cord blood
education through our “Share the Science” series.
The following interview with Keri Weise is part of our on-going educational series called “#WeCanICan: Beat Cancer with Cord Blood” in support of World Cancer Day which is celebrated every year on February 4th.
Keri is living proof of cord blood’s ability to successfully treat cancer.
Save the Cord Foundation: When were you first diagnosed with cancer and what type of cancer was it?
Keri: I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on August 5th, 2014. I had gone into the urgent care clinic because I knew I was anemic, and I had tickets to a Paul McCartney show that night. I didn't think I was going to be well enough to attend, so I went in to clinic hoping they could give me a shot of iron, or something. Two days later after "seeing some funny cells in my blood," I went in for a bone marrow biopsy and the doctor said - "well, we are here to find out what kind of cancer you have." I was shocked to say the least. I went home and prayed that I would at least have a chance to fight. I went in the next day and found out I had ALL, which is pretty rare in adults, and was admitted immediately after my appointment and started treatment that day.
Save the Cord Foundation: Why was cord blood offered as a treatment choice for you? Were you participating in a clinical trial?
Keri: I fortunately had a lot of matches, both cord blood and bone marrow. Looking back, I can see that they were trying from the start to get me to transplant, because 1) I was relatively healthy (minus the cancer), 2) I responded very well to treatment, and 3) my gene that had mutated and grown had transformed back to normal and that was a good prognostic indicator. My doctors at the University of Minnesota ultimately chose a perfectly matched 6/6 cord blood unit for my transplant. I was also given the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial but, in my case, this required switching my donor about a week before I was scheduled for transplant to a 4/6 match that was expanded, as part of the clinical trial. But, I was uncomfortable with the lower matching, so I asked to be switched back to the 6/6. I asked why they wanted to switch to the 4/6 match and why they had chosen that cord, and they simply replied that the algorithm they wrote had changed. I'm glad I went with that 6/6 match, because I am here today and living life.
Save the Cord Foundation: How was your cord blood transplant different from your experience with chemo and other methods of treatment?
Keri: Transplant was very much the same, but different in intensity than my previous three rounds of chemo. I had three rounds of Hyper CVAD and 6 rounds of intrathecal chemo before transplant that got me into complete remission. Most of the same chemo I had previously were what I received before transplant, although my doctor called this dosage an "atomic bomb" of chemo. I also had eight rounds of total body radiation before the transplant. All of this combined completely wiped out my own immune system. Because of the much higher doses, I was a lot sicker after. For every round of treatment and for transplant, I had to be hospitalized because I had zero white cell count. I was in the hospital around 100 days between August - December 2014. It all happened very quickly. I had my transplant only four months after diagnosis.
Save the Cord Foundation: What is your advice to those currently diagnosed with cancer?
Keri: My advice would be to listen to your doctors and trust that the path they put you on is the right one. But it is also very important to be your own advocate, and to fight for what you think is right and best for you. Remember to take care of yourself by keeping moving when you feel up to it and asking for help when you need it. My mantra has been throughout - this too shall pass.
Save the Cord Foundation: What is your advice to parents and doctors who are skeptical about cord blood?
Keri: My advice would be to educate yourself and learn about all the lives that cord blood can save! I am here today because a mom donated the cord of her son, who was born somewhere in the Central Time Zone in 2012. There's a mom and son out there that literally saved my life because they donated their cord blood! Every day I am thankful for them and for the second chance at life that they've given me.
Cord blood is generally considered medical waste, a.k.a garbage, but it literally saved my life! I cannot ever thank the people out there enough that have chosen to donate their cords.
Our team at Save the Cord Foundation wishes to thank Keri for sharing her amazing story with our readers.
Please share her story with others and let’s encourage every expectant parent to consider how they will #SaveTheCord.
Here are the main points to remember:
Educating parents is only part of the challenge. We must also educate health professionals and key decision makers in government. Public donation programs are too few and far between. The majority of hospitals do not have a donation program for cord blood. Yet, when you hear a story like Keri’s, you wonder why? Why is there not a public donation program in every hospital? Good question! The answer is often simple – awareness. Lack of awareness leads to lack of interest and, of course, lack of funding. If we want to win the battle against cancer, we need to invest in more cord blood donation programs and encourage hybrid banks who can help fill the gaps.
Learn more about your options for saving cord blood. Follow our Step-by-Step cord blood guide for parents which looks at both donation and private storage options.
Meet other cancer survivors from our #WeCanICan: Beat Cancer with Cord Blood series:
Let's bust some cord blood myths!!! The experts have spoken! Here is your chance to learn the facts on this life-saving medical resource. Discover our new educational video series: Cord Blood Myths - BUSTED!
Save the Cord Foundation and Cord Blood Association (CBA) have come together for an exclusive educational project designed to dispel some of the most common myths or misunderstandings regarding cord blood. Working as a team, we interviewed key leaders and experts in the cord blood industry and several cord blood transplant recipients. The questions were collected and curated by CBA. The interviews were led by Charis Ober, Executive Director of Save the Cord Foundation, during the inaugral Cord Blood Connect meeting in Miami, Florida. To date, we have produced 9 videos highlighting a selection of the common cord blood myths provided by CBA.
We recommend you begin exploring this educational series by watching this interview with Dr. Colleen Delaney and her patient, Gregg Gordon.