When it comes to parenthood, expecting parents have many questions and concerns as to what is best for their little one. We worry about which bottles, diapers, sleep methods, etc. are best. We try to prepare everything in our power by figuring out how best to protect them and ensure they have a head start in life. One parenting aspect that families should consider is that of cord blood banking. Many understand the importance of umbilical cord stem cells and the potential these cells hold, but may still have some reservations about cord blood banking. We are here to answer the top five, lesser-known, questions about cord blood banking to help you make an informed decision.
1. Are cord blood and cord tissue collections risky or painful?
One, among many, benefits of using cord blood and cord tissue stem cells, compared to stem cells gathered from other sources, is that it’s a fairly simple process to collect. There is absolutely no pain or risk to the mother or child. This is because the blood is taken from the cord after it has been clamped and cut. The process only takes a few minutes to complete. The process of collecting bone marrow is more complicated. It requires anesthesia and may cause pain and other side effects. There is also a chance of complications involved with the procedure. Cord blood is an excellent source of stem cells because of its non-invasive ease of collection.
2. How are cord blood and tissue processed?
The processing method has a large impact on the quality of the collection, which can ultimately lead to a different outcome if it is used in a transplant. There are two different types of cord blood processing methods: Hetastarch (HES) processing -an industry standard, and PrepaCyte-CB premium processing-advanced processing. PrepaCyte-CB is a proprietary method to which Cryo-Cell International has exclusive rights. This patented technology results in faster patient recovery by approximately 20%, which leads to a lower rate of infection and shorter hospital stay. In addition, PrepaCyte-CB has been shown in an independent study to recover a greater number of stem cells leading to better engraftment success. Learn more about PrepaCyte-CB.
3. What is the outlook for cord blood transplants?
Cord blood has been used in transplants for over 30 years. The first patient to be treated with cord blood was a young boy with Fanconi anemia. He was treated with the cord blood stem cells of his sibling (allogenic). Since that time, there have been over 40,000 transplants performed using umbilical cord stem cells. Cord blood and cord tissue serve as a rich resource of mesenchymal, hematopoietic, and endothelial stem cells; all of which have various roles in regenerative therapy. Cord blood is a standardized treatment for 80 diseases, and over 100 clinical trials are underway to explore further treatment options. Cord blood and cord tissue treatment is being explored in disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy, alzheimer’s, stroke, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, burn wounds, and other conditions.
Research reveals that cord blood stem cells provide several advantages over bone marrow stem cells for transplantation. Umbilical cord stem cells are more versatile and able to differentiate into other types of cells. Because these cells are immature, they are less susceptible to rejection, which leads to fewer cases of graft-versus-host disease. These cells are also able to be used in a wider array of blood diseases and, as we are finding out, many other different forms of degenerative diseases.
Cryo-Cell International has a 100% viability rate of all specimens thawed for therapeutic use. More than 100 patients and counting have used their Cryo-Cell cord blood or cord tissue specimen for the treatment of various disorders. Umbilical cord stem cells will continue to remain a desirable source for transplantation because the HLA profile of cord blood (how similar it is to the recipient's own cells) does not need to match the recipient as closely as does bone marrow.
4. Can I delay cord blood clamping and still store my baby’s cord blood?
While the ideal timing for cord clamping has not been established, many parents and doctors see the benefits of delayed umbilical cord clamping. What many do not realize is that it is possible to do both. Cord clamping can be delayed for a sufficient amount of time to allow a transient infusion of blood to your baby (30-60 seconds) without significantly compromising the volume of cord blood obtained for banking. It is recommended that parents who want to delay cord clamping should consider an advanced processing method which will increase viable stem cell counts.
5. What should one look for when searching for the right cord blood bank?
You want to store your baby’s stem cells with a cord blood bank that has a well-established reputation and experience within the industry. Cord blood banks with strong track-records and financial stability help ensure the continued proper care of the cord blood collections. Cryo-Cell International is the world’s first cord blood bank and continues to pioneer the industry for 30+ years by our commitment to provide the best cord blood product to our families.
- Well-established history: You want to store your baby’s stem cells with a cord blood bank that has a well-established reputation and experience within the industry. Cord blood banks with strong track-records and financial stability help ensure the continued proper care of the cord blood collections. Cryo-Cell International is the world’s first cord blood bank and continues to pioneer the industry for 30+ years by our commitment to provide the best cord blood product to our families.
- Self-sustaining lab: Parents want to bank with a lab that has state-of-the art technology, and that adheres to industry standards. Unlike many other companies, Cryo-Cell International owns and operates its laboratory. This provides a higher level of stability and quality assurance in both the processing and storage of cord blood collections. Less transferring of your specimen means more control and peace of mind.
- Accreditations: Most private cord blood banks are registered with the FDA and have labs that are AABB accredited. Cryo-Cell International is one cut above the rest, by being the only private cord blood bank also to be FACT accredited. We adhere to the most stringent quality standards in the industry as determined by an internationally recognized certification association. Being FACT accredited ensures protocols and high standards are consistently met.
- Quality collection kit and transportation: Parents should be aware of how their baby’s stem cells get to their final location in storage. You want to make sure that you receive a collection kit that will remain the integrity of your specimen. Cryo-Cell’s advanced collection kit provides 30 times longer protection from extreme temperatures than other competitor kits.
- Processing method: How a cord blood bank processes your specimen should be your choice. As you already know, we offer parents the choice between the industry standard processing method or a more advanced processing method.
- Guarantees: You want to compare banks that offer not only superior service but also offer other benefits. 100% of Cryo-Cell International’s collections have been viable when thawed for therapeutic use. We also provide parents a $100,000 Quality Guarantee, and are the only bank to provide post-processing notification of a low-viability specimen.
Storing your baby’s stem cells is an important decision. How your specimen is stored and who it is stored with are equally important decisions. Not every cord blood bank is created the same. We commend you for taking the time to weigh your options and to better educate yourself on the aspects of cord blood banking. We hope that these answers provide you with a better understanding of the topic and help you in your quest to finding the cord blood bank that is the best fit for your family.
Do you have other questions? We’d love to answer! Feel free to reach out to us on social media, contact us via our website, or phone number to speak with a representative.