About Cord Blood
Cord blood provides a rich source of stem cells that have been used in the treatment of several cancers, blood disorders and immune deficiencies for over 20 years.
The stem cells derived from your baby’s cord blood differ from adult stem cells as they are biologically younger and have unique qualities. Collecting and banking cord blood cells cryogenically preserves them for future use.
Cord blood remains in the umbilical cord following birth. The mixture of cells it contains are the building blocks of all other cells in the body. Cord blood cells can be used to restore your child’s or a compatible family member’s blood and immune system after cancer treatment.
As Australia’s first and most credible family cord blood bank, Cryosite always takes the highest care when processing your baby’s cord blood and tissue, ensuring they are viable for the future.
Why Bank Cord Blood?
The stem cells derived from your baby’s cord blood differ to those derived from adults because they have unique qualities and advantages, including:
- Reduced risk of complication when used in transplants.
- Immediate availability: This aids early treatment, which can minimise the progression of disease.
- Bone marrow haematopoietic stem cell transplants from donors can cause stem cells to attack the recipient's tissues. Cord blood stem cells are collected before the immune system has matured, so the risk of this occurring is much lower. For autologous use (where your baby’s cord blood has been banked for his or her own use) this risk is eliminated entirely.
- Stopping the clock: freezing your baby’s stem cells protects them from environmental damage (such as exposure to radiation and chemicals), age and viruses that would otherwise impact stem cells in adults over time.
- The ability to grow more rapidly and for a longer time because they are biologically younger than stem cells derived from other adult sources.
- Simple, safe and painless collection.
Cord blood remains in the placenta and umbilical cord following birth. It contains a mixture of cells, including stem cells, which are the building blocks of all other cells in the body. Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are a particularly exciting type of cord blood that have the ability to develop into all types of human blood cells. HSCs are used in the treatment of diseases and conditions of the blood, and to restore your child’s or a compatible family member’s blood system after cancer treatment. They have been used therapeutically for over 20 years are now in common use both in Australia and globally.
These cells are routinely discarded as medical waste unless you make the decision before your baby is born to collect, process and cryogenically preserve them for future use.
How and when is cord blood collected?
The procedure is safe, quick and entirely pain-free. After your baby is born and the umbilical cord clamped your Obstetrician or a midwife will extract the remaining blood, containing haematopoietic stem cells, from the umbilical cord into a medical sterile bag. If you are storing tissue, containing mesenchymal stem cells, the entire umbilical cord will be taken. If you are not storing tissue, after the blood is removed from the umbilical cord, the tissue will be discarded as medical waste.
How are cord blood stem cells used in medicine?
Cord blood stem cells are used to treat damaged blood and immune systems, often during chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Cord blood stem cells are also being studied for potential future use in regenerative medicine to help stimulate and guide the body's own repair system to heal damaged tissue and organs. For more information view Clinical Trials.