How to Choose a Stem Cell Bank

Quality, choice, experience and technology.

When it comes to saving your baby’s stem cells, you’ll want to know how to choose the best stem cell bank.

As with all important decisions you make, the more educated you are, the better. After all, you only get one chance to bank your baby’s stem cells and you want to make sure that you choose a stem cell bank you can trust. Stem Cell banking companies—especially private ones—vary widely in terms of quality, experience, and even the technology they use to collect, process, and store stem cells.

To help you make the most useful stem cell bank comparisons, start by asking the following questions:

Public Vs. Private

Do I Want to Use a Public or Private Stem Cell Bank?

Public stem cell banking is free, but you give up your rights to the stem cells at the time of donation. Just like donating to a blood bank, this means your donation would be owned by the public stem cell bank and not by your family. Your donated stem cells can be used for medical research or could possibly save a life through a transplant. So remember this: public stem cell banks release your child’s stem cells when a good match from a registry is identified.

Private stem cell banks store stem cells for you in case your child or someone in your immediate family needs them in the future. These private collections are owned by you and you decide how your baby’s stem cells are used. When you choose a private stem cell bank there are processing and storage fees associated with your package.

What is Important When Choosing a Stem Cell Bank?

Check if the stem cell bank you’re considering is accredited with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). AABB is an international, not-for-profit organization that has been setting standards for both public and private cord stem cell banking companies for over 20 years. LifebankUSA is registered with the FDA and accredited by AABB. Click here for a list of AABB-accredited cord blood banking companies in the U.S. and around the world.

As you’re making your stem cell bank comparisons, you may want to factor in the stability of the company. You’re choosing to store your baby’s cord blood in case it might be needed in the future, so you don’t want the company to go out of business. Parentsguidecordblood.org offers detailed reviews of every public and private cord blood bank in the U.S.

Learn more about the Lifebank difference and our reputation as a leader in stem cell banking.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

How Does the Company Collect and Store Stem Cells?
One of the key things you’ll want the stem cell bank’s representative to explain to you is how the they collect and stores your child’s stem cells. Collection and storage methods differ across every company, and you’ll want to be sure that the stem cell bank complies with all federal standards.2

Other questions you should ask about collection and storage include:3

  • Does the stem cell bank provide instructions and collection tools for your physician and labor and delivery staff?
  • Will the stem cell bank contact the labor and delivery staff on your behalf, or will you be responsible for coordinating the process?
  • What type of back-up system does the storage facility have in case of power failure?
  • How stable is the company? Is it affiliated with a hospital, research institution, or pharmaceutical/biotechnology company?

Find out how Lifebank’s simple collection process works—from receiving your collection kit before your baby is born to our stem cell storage procedures.

PLACENTA OPTIONS

Placental Stem Cell Banking Gives You Even More Opportunities
It’s a less known fact that placental blood is also an abundant source of important stem cells being researched for future medical treatments. LifebankUSA® holds exclusive, worldwide patents around the discovery of placental stem cells as well as methods to recover and save them.

Banking placental stem cells in addition to cord blood stem cells with Lifebank:

  • Doubles the number of segments preserved and increases the total number of stem cells available,4 and transplanting more stem cells increases the probability of transplant success and survival.5
  • Allows you to bank the unique stem cells in placental blood that have shown promise in the growing field of regenerative medicine,6,7,8 placing you and your family in the best position to benefit from ongoing developments in this field.

Lifebank is the only cord blood banking company with the advanced technology to collect additional placental stem cells for today’s treatments, and unique placental stem cells for future medical advancements. We discovered unique stem cells that remained trapped in the blood vessels of the placenta, so we created an innovative retrieval method to collect those cells.

“I felt at ease that my doctor and his staff were very familiar with LifebankUSA’s collection kit. I also appreciated LifebankUSA’s flexible payment plans.”

– Lauren M., Lifebank Client, New Jersey

REFERENCES

  1. Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. How to Donate Cord Blood. Available at: https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/donate-cord-blood.
  2. Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. Accreditation standards. Available at: http://parentsguidecordblood.org/accreditation.php.
  3. Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. Questions parents should ask a family bank. Available at: http://parentsguidecordblood.org/faqs.php?tag=21.
  4. Data on file A, LifebankUSA; 2010.
  5. Schoemans H, Theunissen K, Maertens J, Boogaerts M, Verfaillie C, Wagner J. Adult umbilical cord blood transplantation: a comprehensive review. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2006:38(2):83-93.
  6. Richardson SM, Hoyland JA, Mobasheri R, Csaki C, Shakibaei M, Mobasheri A. Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine: Opportunities and Challenges for Articular Cartilage and Intervertebral Disc Tissue Engineering. J Cell Physiol. 2010; 222(1):23-32.
  7. Yen BL, Huang H-I, Chien C-C, Jui H-Y, Ko B-S, Yao M, Shun C-T, Yen M-L, Lee M-C, Chen Y-C. Isolation of multipotent cells from human term placenta. Stem Cells. 2005; 23(1):3-9.
  8. daSilva Meirelles L, Caplan AI, Nardi NB. In search of the in vivo identity of mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells. 2008; 26(9):2287-2299.
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