Why store cord blood stem cells?

When facing illness of a child or loved one, families want hope and doctors want options. Banked umbilical cord blood stem cells provides both.

Patients who require a haematopoietic stem cell transplant will need to obtain cells from one of three sources: bone marrow, circulating blood or umbilical cord blood. Finding a stem cell donor who is a match (and able to donate stem cells) is often difficult and, in many instances, no suitable donor can be found either within a family or through a National or International Bone Marrow Registry.

Storing your baby’s umbilical cord blood at birth provides a source of stem cells, an option for the Transplant Team, should a stem cell transplant be required either for your child or, depending on the degree of matching, for a sibling.

There is no public umbilical cord blood bank in

South Africa

1 in 217
The chances of needing a stem cell transplant in a lifetime of 70 years
>35 000
cord blood transplants performed in almost 30 years
>80 diseases
treated
>5 million
cord blood units stored in private banks

To date:1 000 000+blood stem cell transplants have been done

with more than 1/3 usingcord blood stem cells

human

Blood stem cells used in transplants can be collected from:

bone-marrow
circulatig-blood
cord-blood
goal-image

THE GOAL OF A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT / BLOOD STEM CELL TRANSPLANT IS TO TREAT AND/OR CURE CERTAIN TYPES OF BLOOD RELATED DISEASES.

Banked umbilical cord blood can potentially provide easier access to a stem cell transplant.

Studies have shown that cord blood transplants can be performed in cases where the donor and the recipient are only partially matched, depending, for example, on the number of stem cells in the collection. In contrast, bone marrow transplants require a perfect match in most cases

A new-born’s stem cells are healthy, young and flexible, which means they have significant regenerative abilities.
Umbilical cord stem cells have greater regenerative potential than bone marrow stem cells. They are young and active (a maximum of nine months old), compared to stem cells from other sources. This means that they can differentiate faster, displaying and impressive multiplying potential.


Cord blood is collected in advance, tested, cryopreserved and stored – ready to use when needed.
Because your baby’s stem cells were collected at birth, they are ready to use if necessary. Unlike bone marrow, there is no need to take time to locate a possible donor and then determine whether he or she is still willing and able to donate if a transplant is required.


Cord blood transplants do not always require a perfect match.
Studies have shown that cord blood transplants can be performed in cases where the donor and the recipient are only partially matched. In contrast, bone marrow grafts require a perfect degree match in most cases. Because partially matched cord blood transplants can be performed, cord blood potentially increases a patient’s chance to find a suitable donor.


Cord blood transplants show low rates of graft vs host disease
Cord blood transplants are associated with a lower incidence of graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) in allogeneic transplants (e.g. between siblings). The immune cells in cord blood are less likely to attack the recipient’s own tissues and cause the transplant-related complication of GVHD.


Viral contamination risk is lower
Cord blood is rarely contaminated with underlying viruses resulting in greater acceptance of cord blood stem cells in comparison to those from bone marrow.

Reference:

National Cord Blood Program, http://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/patients/ncbp_diseases.pdf
https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/diseases#standard