About Cord Blood
What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells?
Cord blood-derived stem cells are collected after delivery from umbilical cords and placentas of full-term babies. These cells are a source of blood cell-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells with the potential to treat patients with life threatening blood disorders.
Cord Blood Donations
Cord blood is an ideal source of stem cells. The collection procedure does not interfere with the normal birthing process. No longer discarded as medical waste, the cells are collected at childbirth (after delivery, at minimal risk to the mother or baby) and then are meticulously tested, processed, frozen, and stored. Once approved for clinical use, the unit is listed on an international registry which is accessible by doctors worldwide. More than 35,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide for patients with blood related cancers.
How Cord Blood Helps Save Lives
Umbilical cord blood is most typically used in unrelated hematopoietic cell transplantation in patients with disorders affecting the hematopoietic system such as leukemia, lymphoma and immune system disorders.
In addition, researchers explore usage of cord blood-derived cells as regenerative cell therapies to address unmet medical needs.
The Role of Public Cord Blood Banks
Public cord blood banks collect, process, store and distribute stem-cell rich umbilical cord blood for transplantation in patients with life threatening disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma and immune system disorders. Public cord blood banks help make processed and stored cord blood available from a diverse cross-section of donors, often for use in unrelated transplantation when a family-related match is not available.
Cord Blood Registries
Cord blood stem cell units are searched and accessed through registries, including the National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match and Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide.