What is Cord Blood?

Did you know that your child or a family member has a 1 in 200 chance of needing a stem cell transplant during their lifetime?1

Cord blood is the blood left in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. At one time discarded as medical waste, cord blood is now recognized as a potentially life-saving source of cells.

Cord blood contains stem cells that can be preserved for later use in medical therapies, including stem cell transplants and clinical trials of new stem cell therapies. The first successful cord blood transplant was performed in 1988 on a 5-year-old boy with Fanconi anemia2, a rare and serious blood disorder. Since then, cord blood transplants have been performed around the world and are approved to treat more than 80 diseases.2 At LifebankUSA, we released our first unit of cord blood stem cells in 2003 to treat a 6-month-old baby with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

The hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) found in cord blood are different from the stem cells obtained from a child or adult. HSCs have the unique ability to give rise to any of the blood cells in our bodies, and they can be used to replace diseased blood cells in people with conditions such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.3

Below is a full list of diseases for which HSCs are considered standard treatment. For some diseases, stem cell transplant is the only therapy. In other diseases, stem cell transplant is reserved for when front-line therapies have not worked or the disease is very aggressive.4

List of Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) units released by LifebankUSA for transplant.

Figure adapted from Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood. Diseases Treated. Available at http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/diseases#standard.

LifebankUSA offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture and preserve the powerful cord blood stem cells that are unique to your child. This may be a critically important decision since using your own family’s cord blood instead of unrelated donor cord blood has many advantages, including a better chance of a genetic match and a higher likelihood of transplant success and survival if your child or a close family member ever needs a stem cell transplant.5,6,7

Take the first step in protecting your child’s health by choosing to bank cord blood.