About Stem Cells

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Cord Blood Banking Options

Private Cord Blood & Cord Tissue Banking

Private banks process and store cord blood stem cells for a family's personal use. Some private cord blood banks also have the ability to process and store cord tissue stem cells. Any decisions regarding the use of the stem cells are left to the family. The cord blood and cord tissue are readily available when needed and ensure the best biological stem cell match for a successful transplant.


Public Donation

Public banks store unrelated cord blood units that are donated. The relevant information (e.g., HLA types, cell counts, and the birth mother's medical history) is then stored in a database and made available to research facilities and transplant centers.

Public cord blood banks have the option to sell your donated sample to a research facility or to discard your sample. Approximately 50% of all publically donated cord blood samples are not stored for future transplantation.1 Should your family need stem cells for a life-saving treatment in the future, there is a high probability that your baby's sample will not be available - leaving your family to hope and wait for another donor match, which may never be found. If a match can be located, transplant centers will charge more than $51,000 per unit that is retrieved from a public bank.2

Public cord blood banks do not have the ability to process and save cord tissue.

1 National Marrow Donor Program. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010-28-March from NMDP: Cord Blood Donation: Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.marrow.org/HELP/Donate_Cord_Blood_Share_Life/Cord_Blood_Donation_FAQs/index.html

2 National Marrow Donor Program. (n.d.). Retrieved 2010-11-January from NMDP: University of Chicago: http://www.marrow.org/PATIENT/Plan_for_Tx/Choosing_a_TC/US_NMDP_Transplant_Centers/Detailed_Center_ Information/tc_idx.pl?ctr_id=557