The Answers You Need
Cord blood and cord tissue banking are cutting-edge cryopreservation techniques that allow expectant parents to preserve their child’s potentially life-saving umbilical cord stem cells after birth. Cord blood banking allows your child to use their own stem cells if they are diagnosed with a disease treatable with stem cell therapy.
What are cord blood and cord tissue banking?
Stem cells are powerful resources that can be used to treat over 80 different diseases, including cancer, blood disorders, and immune system disorders. Stem cell transplants allow doctors to use the patient's own stem cells or the stem cells of another person with at least a 4/6 HLA match - opening up new possibilities for healing. Your newborn's stem cells can only be collected and preserved immediately after birth.
How are stem cells used?
It is important to preserve both cord blood and cord tissue because each have very different roles in the body and in regenerative medicine. Cord tissue stem cells are the building blocks of the tissue parts of our bodies.
Your baby’s cord tissue contains different types of stem cells than those found in the cord blood. Within cord tissue are the powerful mesenchymal stem cells, which can heal, repair, and regenerate muscle, bones, cartilage, skin, and the tissue parts of our internal organs.
Over 500 active clinical trials are being conducted around the world using mesenchymal stem cells as potential treatments for many different diseases. Researchers have found many breakthroughs using these stem cells and are excited about the future in regenerative medicine using cord tissue stem cells.
Is banking cord blood equally important as banking cord tissue?
Over 40,000 patients have benefited from cord blood treatments since the 1st transplant in 1988. Emerging research demonstrates that umbilical cord blood stem cells continue to be an amazing biological resource that contain powerful health benefits. These stem cells can regenerate all components of our blood and auto-immune systems. Stem cells can save lives of a patient with a serious blood disease such as leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell disease. StemCyte has provided 1 out of every 20 cord blood transplant units (2,692+ units) for transplant worldwide.
Is cord blood medical waste?
It is important to preserve each child's cord blood stem cells because that is the only way to be 100% certain that each child will have their unique stem cells available should they need a stem cell transplant in the future. Although stem cells may be a match between biological siblings, physicians use an entire sample in each transplant as more stem cells increase the engraftment rate and the overall success of the transplant. As such, each cord blood unit can only be used in one transplant.
What are the benefits of banking each child's cord blood?
Cord blood stem cells can potentially be used to treat family members other than the baby if there is an HLA match between the baby and other family members. Biological siblings of the baby have a 75% chance of being a partial HLA match and biological parents have about 20% probability of being a partial HLA match to their baby. However, keep in mind that each cord blood unit can only be used in one transplant. Once it is used in a transplant, it will no longer be available for other family members.
Can stored cord blood be used for treating anyone in a family?
The Answers You Need
StemCyte is unique amongst cord blood banks as we offer both private and public cord blood banking.
Private banking is when expectant parents choose to preserve and retain ownership of their baby’s umbilical cord stem cells for the exclusive use of their baby or other family members. Private banking requires parents to pay a processing fee and ongoing annual storage.
Public banking is when expectant parents choose to donate their baby's stem cells to a public bank. When you donate your baby's stem cells to a public bank, you are making them available to another individual in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant. There is no cost to donate your child's stem cells if your hospital participates in a donation program. Your family does not retain ownership of the cord blood once it has been donated.
For more information, visit the banking options page.
What are my banking options?
After enrolling in a cord blood banking plan, StemCyte will ship a collection kit to your home address. Bring the collection kit to the hospital on the day of your delivery and hand it to your labor and delivery nurse. Your OBGYN doctor will perform the collection following the birth of your baby. Once your stem cells have been collected, your labor and delivery nurse will return the kit back to you with your baby's stem cells inside. You will need to call our medical courier at (866) 389-4659 to arrange transfer from the hospital to StemCyte’s laboratory for processing. Learn more about our processing options here.
What are the steps to collecting and preserving your baby's cord blood?
Research has shown that cord blood collection from a baby's umbilical cord poses no risks, as it is safely removed without any contact with the baby and mom. It is collected after the umbilical cord is cut from the baby. It does not interfere with the delivery process, and no blood is taken directly from the baby.
Can cord blood collection affect or harm the baby?
Delayed cord clamping is a decision each family makes in consultation with their OBGYN physician. DCC and cord blood banking can both be part of your birth plan. While DCC may reduce stem cell volume for preservation purposes, a good amount can still be collected and preserved for future transplant therapy. Many expectant parents are choosing to do both DCC and cord blood banking.
Does delayed cord clamping (DCC) prevent the ability to preserve baby’s cord blood.
Cord blood has the power to be a lifetime resource when collected, processed, and cryopreserved properly. Since the first transplant occurred in 1988, the medical community now believes umbilical cord stem cells could last the lifetime of the baby. Recently, StemCyte provided a cord blood unit that was cryopreserved for 18 years to successfully treat a 46 year old male patient suffering from an acute ischemic stroke.
Does stored cord blood have a limited “shelf-life.”
StemCyte offers Public Bank Access, Newborn Genetic Analysis, and HLA typing. You can learn more about each of these services on our service page.
What other types of services do you offer?
StemCyte started as a Public Bank in 1997 with a mission to create the world's largest, most ethnically diverse cord blood bank. With a vision to create greater global access to cutting-edge medical treatment using cord blood stem cells, StemCyte delivered the world's first successful cord blood transplant for Thalassemia major four years later. Due to StemCyte's success, many physicians wanted to preserve their family's own cord blood stem cells using StemCyte's Maxcell premium processing. This motivated StemCyte to also establish their Private Bank. Check out our history for more information.