Cord Blood Basics
Why Store Cord Blood?
- Cord blood and cord tissue are rich in powerful stem cells that can only be collected at birth for potential future use.
- Stem cells can be used now for medical treatments. New therapies are being researched for potential future uses of cord blood and tissue, for conditions including type-1 diabetes, cerebral palsy and autism.
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta. Cord blood is a rich source of blood stem cells and other important cells.
What can cord blood treat today?
Today, cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of over 80 life threatening diseases.1 There have been over 40,000 transplants.2 worldwide using cord blood in place of bone marrow for conditions including:
- Solid tumors
- Genetic diseases
- Immune deficiencies
- Blood disorders & leukemias
Can cord blood be used for siblings?
Cord blood has a greater potential to be a match for siblings compared to unrelated donors. Sibling cord blood has been associated with better clinical outcomes and fewer possible complications that may be associated with a third party donor.4
Emerging treatments where cord blood may be used
Scientific research is evaluating how cord blood cells may provide new therapies for a broad number of diseases for which there is no effective treatment today. While regenerative medicine has exciting potential, its prospects remain dependent on the success of ongoing research around the world.
Conditions with clinical trials ongoing:.3
- Cerebral Palsy
- Type-1 Diabetes
Importantly, a number of the new cord blood cell therapies being researched anticipate requiring cells directly from the patient being treated
(i.e. autologous therapies).
Emerging cord blood technologies
Advancements in technology may enable the number of cells available from cord blood collections to be expanded.
The important benefits of cell expansion would be:.6
- Extending the period over which cord blood stem cells may be used, as treatments for adults require more stem cells than treatments for a child
- Increasing the potential number of therapies from one unit of cord blood