The Lions Cord Blood Foundation Inc. was initiated in 1996 by Lion Laurie Denton (deceased) a former member of the Lions Club of Waverley Inc. Managed by the Lions Club of Waverley Inc.V5. A District Project of 201V5 and since the Multiple District Convention in Queensland in 2006 the Foundation continues as a Category B Project until June 2020.
The cost of retrieval, testing and storage of a single successful cord has risen to $4,000+. Over the past 23 years, the Foundation has raised in excess of $2.3M for the Fight Cancer Foundation (formerly - Bone Marrow Donor Institute) for distribution to the Cord Blood Banks and shall continue to support them through 2020 and beyond with your Club's ongoing support.
Some of these funds have been allocated to Improving the quality of samples which extends to the great expansion in the application of stem cells derived from cord blood samples to treat other diseases, for people of all ages, such as those affecting the heart, liver, nerve, muscle, lung and pancreas.
$130,000 per annum has been allocated to this and other research over the past few years.
The Cord Blood Bank saw the need to increase the quantity of cord blood samples by paying additional cord collection nurses dedicated to preparing quality cord blood samples as soon as possible after the birth of the babies. Increase in the number of samples will improve the genetic matching of recipients to donors of the samples and thus improve the success rate of overcoming diseases. $75,000 was donated by Lions for cord collection nurses in 2016-17
In the past the project funded equipment such as cryogenic tanks, cryo shippers, centrifuges, etc., when requested by the Cord Blood Bank. Our focus has since shifted to research including funding the establishment of iPSC Haplobanks. With Cord blood samples being a rich source of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) these can induced as part of an involved recent chemical process to produce master cells which can basically turn into any cell, tissue or organ of the human body (like eye retina, skin tissue, kidney and even heart or brain). They also have the power to infinitely self-renew. The Cord Blood of Melbourne is currently researching the future formation of such a bank where small samples of each cord blood unit will be stored for future use in manufacturing cells, tissues and organs for transplants.
This project presents a wonderful opportunity for Lions to support future advancements in stem cell technology and reducing the impact of diseases like leukaemia and others on mankind.
APRIL 2020 REPORT
Professor Ngaire Elwood's report highlights the great work that she and the Cord Blood Research team are doing. She emphasises how this would not have been possible without the funding from the Lions Cord Blood Foundation over the years. Currently she credits Lions for supporting funding in the following five areas of research:
1. Establishment of a Cord Blood Stem Cell (iPSC) Bank for potential clinical use
This is a long-term project with the ultimate aim to be able to provide an accredited and safe bank of stem cells from cord blood for new types of cellular therapies (such as retinal repair, muscle and nerve repair). A collaboration has been established with researchers at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health, who are undertaking experiments to show that the Cord Blood Bank stem cell line can also produce nerve cells (eventually cells like this may be used for a clinical trial for the treatment of Parkinson's disease).
2. HAPPI Kids study
The Haematology Research group at Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) & the Royal Children's Hospital is leading to this very important project. Thanks to past funding from the Lions Cord Blood Foundation, the Cord Blood Bank has developed extensive expertise in the measurement of telomere length (the region of DNA found at the end of the chromosomes). The outcome of this will be age-matched reference ranges that will be used to help in the diagnosis of children with leukaemia and other blood disorders.
3. Cord blood assist with cardiac repair in babies and children with heart abnormalities
The Cord Blood Bank has performed key experiments in a collaborative project with the Heart Research group at MCRI to identify and characterise a new type of cell in cord blood that may give rise to cardiac cells. In a current separate clinical trial involving the Bank and the injection of cord blood from the babies into the hearts at the time of surgery appears to be safe and may be of benefit in assisting with heart repair post-surgery. Following the success of this trial it is planned to be widened to include unrelated cord blood samples.
4. TCS Operational Database
This Database that is to be used by both BMDI Cord Blood Bank and Sydney Cord Blood Bank, and is co-funded by the Lions Cord Blood Foundation, is currently in the validation phase. It will be validated and implemented in multiple stages. The first stage will allow registration of maternal and baby donor, collection, processing, testing and storage of cord blood and maternal blood. ISBT 128 labelling (an international code for labelling) will also be an important component of the first stage implementation. Both CBBs are collaboratively working towards "Go-Live" of the first stage by 1st of July 2020.
5. Retrospective High-resolution Typing Project
In order to meet international standards all cord blood samples need to be verified as meeting these standards. The Foundation is currently funding this project.
Electronic banking: Lions Cord Blood Foundation Inc.
Trust Fund- BSB No. 033052 Account No.: 163726. Please clearly indicate the club, organisation or person who is donating.
Also donations can still be sent by cheque to the address below.
Lions Cord Blood Foundation Inc.
P.O. Box 4036, Burwood East, Vic. 3151
CONTACT: Lions Cord Blood Foundation: Email: email@example.com
Trust fund Number DGR.900495462
ABN 91 048 667 604