LEARN ABOUT CORD BLOOD

Lifebank recognizes the hopes and dreams that you have for your child. That’s why we are committed to being more than just a storage company.

– ROBERT HARIRI, FOUNDER

The Foundation of Stem Cell Banking

A proven history of life-saving treatments.

Cord blood banking is a service that allows you to collect and preserve your newborn baby’s cord blood stem cells. Umbilical cord blood contains powerful stem cells that can be used for many potentially life-saving medical treatments for your baby and his or her siblings.

Saving the umbilical cord blood stem cells with Lifebank offers the following advantages:

 

What is Cord Blood?

At one time discarded as medical waste, blood from your baby’s umbilical cord is now recognized as a potentially life-saving source of stem cells. The uses for umbilical cord blood and the value of storing umbilical cord blood are all about the life-saving potential of stem cells. Blood in the umbilical cord is rich in stem cells,1 which are considered the “master cells” of the body because they can:

  • Develop into many different types of cells that make up our blood, tissue, organs, and immune system2
  • Act as an internal repair system by dividing over and over again to replenish other cells as they die or are damaged2

Umbilical cord banking allows you to collect and save your baby’s cord blood for potential later use in medical therapies, including stem cell transplants and clinical trials of new, exciting stem cell therapies.

How Are Cord Blood Stem Cells Different?

Cord blood stem cells are similar to those found in adult bone marrow. Cord blood and bone marrow contain hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which have the unique ability to develop into any of the blood cells in our bodies.3 Because of this flexibility, they can be used to replace diseased blood cells in people with conditions such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, among others.

Stem cells found in your baby’s umbilical cord are less likely than other stem cells, including those from bone marrow, to lead to complications following transplant.3,5 Two of the most frequent complications of stem cell transplantation are transplant rejection and graft versus host disease, or GvHD.3,5 GvHD develops when blood cells from the donor’s stem cells attack the recipient’s cells and tissue.

A unique feature of umbilical cord blood stem cells is that they can be transplanted in cases where the donor and the recipient are only partially matched.3 In contrast, bone marrow grafts require perfect matching in most cases. The ability to use partially matched cord blood for transplants increases a patient’s chances of being matched with a suitable donor.

How is Umbilical Cord Banking Used Today?

 

Umbilical cord stem cell transplants

Transplants using stored umbilical cord blood are a standard of care for many life-threatening diseases, and are being studied as potential treatments for many more.

The first successful transplant using umbilical cord stem cells was performed in 1988 on a 5-year-old boy with Fanconi anemia,4 a rare and serious blood disorder. Since then, up to 80 different diseases have been treated with cord blood transplants.*,4 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. To date, stem cells collected at Lifebank have been used to treat the most common childhood leukemias, sickle cell anemia, inherited immune deficiencies, and more. As researchers continue to learn more about the potential of stem cells, the uses of your baby’s umbilical cord blood are only expected to grow.

Clinical trials using umbilical cord stem cells

Clinical trials are underway to study the potential of cord blood stem cells in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder, commonly referred to as autism. Autism is a complex developmental brain disorder that causes varying degrees of communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors.6 It’s estimated that 1 in 68 children fall somewhere along the autism spectrum.

One trial showed that cord blood infusion was safe in children aged 2 to 7 with autism.7 Another trial is now investigating whether or not such an infusion can benefit these children, such as by improving communication skills or reducing the inflammation associated with the disorder.8 Learn more about this trial and the requirements for participation.

Cord blood stem cells are also being researched for their potential to treat cerebral palsyA trial studied the benefits of children using their own umbilical cord blood for the treatment of spastic cerebral palsy.9 This research found that when children were given an adequate dose of their own cord blood stem cells, there were significant improvements in measures of neurodevelopmental function, such as gross motor functioning.10 Another ongoing study is now looking at the safety of using stem cells from the cord blood of a sibling for the treatment of cerebral palsy.11

If you are an expecting parent or a parent with a child that has been diagnosed with autism or cerebral palsy, Lifebank Medical Affairs can provide additional information regarding ongoing and planned clinical trials that may benefit you.

Contact us for more information: medicalaffairs@lifebankusa.com

Should I Consider More Than Umbilical Cord Banking?

Umbilical cord banking isn’t the whole story. After your baby is delivered, stem cells can be collected from not only the umbilical cord, but also the placenta. Banking blood from both the placenta and umbilical cord is your best opportunity to maximize the number of stem cells collected. And many studies have shown that using a higher number of stem cells may help improve survival in transplant patients.12,13,14

Discover the power of adding placental blood stem cells to your cord blood collection and how they’re part of a growing area of stem cell research that promises to lead to groundbreaking new therapies in the future.

“Thanks to LifebankUSA, we became knowledgeable and confident that we were doing the right thing [for] our daughter’s healthy future.”
– Peg B., Lifebank client, Texas

Protect Your Family By Saving Cord Blood

For today and tomorrow’s life-saving treatments.

Families choose to save cord blood for a number of reasons, both personal and medical. But there are some key benefits of cord blood banking that all families will share. Some of the most important cord blood banking benefits are outlined here.

1. Potential to Save Lives

Cord blood is an important source of stem cells and has been proven to help replace and rebuild diseased blood cells. Since the first cord blood transplant in 1988, there have been more than 35,000 cord blood transplants around the world to treat life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.15

Read our cord blood banking success stories to learn about the real impact Lifebank has had on families.

2. Treats up to 80 Life-Threatening Diseases*

When asking yourself why you should save cord blood stem cells, consider that your child or a family member has a 1 in 200 chance of needing a stem cell transplant during his or her lifetime.16

Currently, cord blood or bone marrow transplants are accepted as standard therapy for up to 80 diseases.17 Some of these diseases—such as leukemia—are well known, but others are rare conditions for which there are limited treatment options.

Standard Therapies
Leukemias Lymphomas Myelomas
Myelo­dysplastic Syndromes Hemoglobin­opathies Inherited Immune System Disorders
Inherited Metabolic Disorders Certain Other Blood Disorders
Therapies in Clinical Trials
Histiocytic Disorders Cerebral Palsy Autism
Pediatric Stroke Brain Injury

Have a look at the full list of diseases treated with cord blood stem cells. As researchers explore new uses for cord blood, the number of diseases that may be treated with cord blood in the future will likely increase, as will the benefits of cord blood banking.18

3. Only Chance for a Perfect Stem Cell Match

Cord blood is one of the richest sources of stem cells in the human body, and it can only be saved at birth. Cord blood banking is your only chance to capture the powerful cord blood stems cells unique to your child.

Saving your baby’s cord blood gives you peace of mind that you have immediate access to a related source of stem cells. When a stem cell match is needed to treat a disease, a family member is always the first option doctors will look to for a match. Particularly when there is a family history of certain cancers or diseases that can be treated with stem cell transplantation, the benefit of cord blood banking is similar to buying an insurance policy.

4. Potential of Regenerative Medicine

Breakthroughs in stem cell research are happening every day, and banking your child’s cord blood may be an investment in the future. Stem cells found in cord blood, placental blood, and placental tissue are helping to evolve the science of regenerative medicine, which involves repairing damaged tissue, replacing organs, and curing life-threatening diseases. In your child’s lifetime, their stem cells may provide treatments for a number of life-threatening diseases, such as:

  • Spinal cord injury19
  • Parkinson’s disease20
  • Cerebral palsy21
  • Muscular dystrophy22
  • Stroke23
  • Autoimmune diseases24

When you save cord blood, placental blood, and placental tissue together with Lifebank, you are investing in the ability to take advantage of advancements in this groundbreaking field.

“…with a member of my family having died of leukemia, [it] brought home just how important it is to bank stem cells, and made me feel thankful that I had the opportunity to store my children’s stem cells.”
– Victoria F., Lifebank client, New Jersey

REFERENCES

  1. Wang, Y, Zhao S. Chapter 10, Placental Tissue and Cord Blood Stem Cells. In: Granger N, Granger J, ed. Vascular Biology of the Placenta. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2010.
  2. National Institutes of Health. Stem cell basics. Available at https://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics.htm. Accessed Jan. 11, 2017.
  3. American Cancer Society. Stem Cell Transplant (Peripheral Blood, Bone Marrow, and Cord Blood Transplants). Available at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003215-pdf.pdf. Accessed Jan. 11, 2017.
  4. Moise K. Umbilical cord stem cells. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106(6):1393-1407.
  5. Ooi J. Cord blood transplantation in adults. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2009;44:661-666.
  6. Christensen DL, Baio J, Van Naarden Braun K, Bilder D, Charles J, Constantino JN, Daniels J, Durkin MS, Fitzgerald RT, Kurzius-Spencer M, Lee L-C, Pettygrove S, Robinson C, Schulz E, Wells C, Wingate MS, Zaharodny W, Yeargin-Allsopp M. Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2012. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2016;65(3):1–23.
  7. Duke University. Autologous Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02176317. December 21, 2016. Accessed January 22, 2017.
  8. Duke University. Cord Blood Infusion for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (Duke ACT). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT02847182. December 21, 2016. Accessed January 20, 2017.
  9. Duke University. A Randomized Study of Autologous Umbilical Cord Blood Reinfusion in Children With Cerebral Palsy. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01147653. December 21, 2016. Accessed January 20, 2017.
  10. Sun J, Mikati M, Troy J, Gustafson K, Simmons R, Goldstein R, Petry J, McLaughlin C, Waters-Pick B, Case L, Worley G, Kurtzberg J. Blood 2015;126(23):925.
  11. Duke University. Assessment of the Safety of Allogeneic Umbilical Cord Blood Infusions in Children With Cerebral Palsy. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02599207. December 21, 2016. Accessed January 20, 2017.
  12. Gluckman E, Rocha V. Donor selection for unrelated cord blood transplants. Curr Opin Immunol. 2006;18(5):565-570.
  13. Schoemans H, Theunissen K, Maertens J, Boogaerts M, Verfaillie C, Wagner J. Adult umbilical cord blood transplantation: a comprehensive review. Bone Marrow Transpl. 2006;38(2):83-93.
  14. Scaradavou A. Unrelated umbilical cord blood unit selection. Semin Hematol. 47;13-21.
  15. National Cord Blood Program. Available at: https://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/. Accessed on Jan. 11, 2017.
  16. Gluckman E, Rocha V. Donor selection for unrelated cord blood transplants. Curr Opin Immunol. 2006; 18 (5):565-570.
  17. Moise K Jr. Umbilical cord stem cells. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106(6):1393-1407.
  18. Ballen KK, Gluckman E, Broxmeyer HE. Umbilical cord blood transplantation: the first 25 years and beyond. Blood. 2013; 122(4):491-4.
  19. Dasari VR, Spomar DG, Li L, Gujrati M, Rao JS, Dinh DH. Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Mediated Downregulation of Fas Improves Functional Recovery of Rats after Spinal Cord Injury. Neurochem Res. 2008; 33(1):134-149.
  20. Harris DT. Cord Blood Stem Cells: A Review of Potential Neurological Applications. Stem Cell Rev. 2008; 4(4): 269-274.
  21. Harris DT. Non-haematological uses of cord blood stem cells. Br J Haematol. 2009; 147(2):177-184.
  22. Jazedje T, Secco M, Vieira NM, Zucconi E, Gollop TR, Vainzof M, Zatz M. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood do have myogenic potential, with and without differentiation induction in vitro. J Transl Med. 2009; 7:6.
  23. Bliss T, Guzman R, Daadi M, Steinberg GK. Cell Transplantation Therapy for Stroke. Stroke. 2007; 38(suppl 2):817-826.
  24. Silini AR, Cargnoni A, Magatti A, Pianta S, Parolini O. The long path of human placenta, and its derivatives, in regenerative medicine. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2015; 3:162.