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Popular Questions

Answers to questions about cord blood and tissue stem cells and what banking could mean for your family.

What Is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord Blood Stem Cells

Saving Stem Cells For Your Family

Donating Stem Cells to the Public

What Is Cord Tissue Banking?

Cord Tissue Stem Cells

What Stem Cell Treatments Exist?

Current Treatments

Clinical Trials

What Does Cord Banking Cost?

Pricing and The Fine Print

How Does The Process Work For Me?

The Enrollment Process

How Does CBR’s Process Work?

CBR’s Process

Cord Blood Stem Cells

What is the difference between cord blood and cord tissue?

There are two primary types of newborn stem cells that have the potential to be used for different treatments: hematopoietic (he•ma•to•poi•et•ic) and mesenchymal (mes•en•chy•mal). Hematopoietic stem cells are blood-forming cells with the ability to self-renew. While mesenchymal stem cells can form bone, cartilage, and tissue cells and are predominantly found in the cord tissue. Cord blood predominantly contains hematopoietic stem cells and cord tissue primarily contains mesenchymal stem cells.

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What is cord blood?

Cord blood comes from a newborn’s umbilical cord and is collected immediately after birth. Once the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, the remaining blood in the umbilical cord is drawn into a collection bag.

A Medical Resource

This blood contains powerful stem cells that have been used to regenerate healthy blood and immune systems in more than 30,000 transplants worldwide.68

Doctors are using cord blood to save lives today and researching cord blood as potential treatment for diseases that currently have no cure.

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What are stem cells?

Stem cells are the body’s “master cells” because they are the building blocks of organ tissues, blood, and the immune system. Stem cells from bone marrow were first used to regenerate blood and immune cells for patients who had received chemotherapy for cancer. In the late 1980s, doctors started using cord blood stem cells to treat diseases that had previously been treated with bone marrow transplantation.

Today, cord blood stem cells are successfully being used to save lives. They also are being researched in an exciting new area of medicine called regenerative medicine, where scientists are studying the use of cord blood stem cells in experimental treatments for conditions like brain injury and acquired hearing loss.

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Are cord blood stem cells different from other stem cells?

Yes. Cord blood stem cells are biologically younger and are more flexible compared to adult stem cells from other sources like bone marrow. When saved, they have unique qualities and advantages:

  • Less risk of complications when used in transplants39
  • Ability to use one’s own stem cells for conditions that currently lack medical treatment options, also known as “autologous transplantation”
  • Immediately available and can minimize disease progression in early treatment40
  • Preserving them “stops the clock” and protects the cells from aging and being exposed to environmental factors and common viruses that can decrease their function41
Comparison of Stem Cell Sources Newborn Adult Embryonic
Ability to differentiate into various cell types
High proliferation capacity  
Low risk of tumor formation  
Low risk of viral contamination  
Capacity for autologous transplantation  
Established/proven treatment in human patients  

Stem cells can heal the body, promote recovery, and offer an enormous amount of therapeutic potential. Cord blood stem cells are not embryonic stem cells and are not controversial.

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How long has cord blood banking been available?

The opportunity for expectant families to collect and store their newborns’ umbilical cord blood stem cells has been available since late 1995. Currently, thousands of parents are taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In fact, CBR has banked cord blood for more than 500,000 newborns.

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Why are there stem cells in the umbilical cord?

Stem cells are found throughout the body, but in larger numbers in the blood system. Stress on the body can cause even more stem cells to circulate in the blood, and birth is a very stressful event for a newborn.

Once the baby is born, the blood that remains in the umbilical cord still contains a “reservoir” of stem-cell rich blood that can be easily collected without risk to the newborn or mother.

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Saving Stem Cells For Your Family

Should I save cord blood for all of my children?

Yes. Saving cord blood for each child gives your family more options because:

  • Each child has access to his or her own genetically unique cells. Your baby may use the stem cells for a number of diseases, however, not generally for inherited genetic conditions. In those cases, a matched sibling’s stem cells would be the first choice. For experimental regenerative medicine therapies that use cord blood, the child’s own stem cells are currently required.
  • There is increased likelihood that a family member in need will have access to a related source of cord blood for treatment.
  • Expecting identical twins? It is still important to save cord blood for each child as it is extremely difficult to determine if twins are indeed identical. Each child’s cord blood is banked separately.

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Can my child use his or her own cord blood stem cells?

Thousands of autologous stem cell transplants – those using one’s own stem cells from cord blood, bone marrow, and peripheral blood – are performed every year.

  • Autologous (using one’s own stem cells) transplants are performed for diseases such as: Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, severe aplastic anemia, myeloma, Ewing’s sarcoma, neuroblastoma, brain tumors, and other solid tumors.
  • Research from the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that even with early-onset disease (within 12 months of birth), the child’s stem cells are viable for use in transplantation. In the study, an autologous stem cell treatment for infants with acute leukemia was just as successful as a sibling transplant.

Autologous cord blood stem cells have many advantages as a stem cell source, including no risk of graft vs. host disease (a leading cause of death for transplant patients). In addition, like all saved cord blood, it is available quickly and the stem cells have a low risk of having been affected by environmental damage or viruses.

Experimental treatments with cord blood focus on regenerative medicine – where doctors study the use of stem cells to repair damaged tissues and organs in the body. Currently, for these applications, a child’s own cord blood is required.

However, there are certain medical conditions that would not use autologous stem cells:

  • Genetic Diseases: Cord blood stem cells may not be usable if the donating child has certain genetic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia. However, gene therapy, which uses the child’s own stem cells to deliver the corrected genetic element is being investigated. Gene therapy is still experimental and may never become clinically available.
  • Certain Cancers: In earlier years of life, doctors may choose to not use a child’s own stem cells for treatment of certain cancers such as leukemia, due to the concern that an early onset may indicate a genetic component. However, if the cancer occurs later in life, the child’s cord blood stem cells may be preferable to their own adult stem cells collected during remission from the cancer. This is because of the risk of residual tumor cells in the adult stem cells, which may cause relapse.

In cases in which autologous stem cells cannot be used, a matched sibling’s cord blood is the next best option, which is one of the key reasons why it is important to bank cord blood for each child in the family.

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Who can use my baby’s cord blood stem cells?

Any family member who is a suitable match may be able to use your baby’s cord blood stem cells for transplant medicine. Siblings are the most likely to be compatible matches, with 25% of these cases offering a perfect match. It is less likely that other family members will be a sufficient match, and there is no guarantee that an adequate stem cell match will be found for any given patient.

Your baby will always be a perfect match to his or her own stem cells and may use them for a number of diseases, however, not generally for inherited genetic conditions. In those cases, a matched sibling’s stem cells would be the first choice.

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How likely is it that my family will need to use stem cells?

The use of cord blood has increased significantly in the past 15 years. As uses expand, so does the likelihood that the stem cells may be needed by a member of your family. Based on the most recent data, the likelihood of needing a stem cell transplant from any source is:

  • 1 in 217 – for an individual (by age 70), using his or her own stem cells or someone else’s

However, this data does not reflect potential therapies using stem cells that may be developed in the future. Currently, there are more than 30 FDA-regulated clinical trials researching medical uses for cord blood stem cells, including studies for cerebral palsy, brain injury, juvenile diabetes, and hearing loss.

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Is cord blood collection safe?

Cord blood collection is painless, easy, and safe for both mother and newborn. The cord blood is collected after your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. The cord blood being collected is blood that would normally be discarded after birth. Your caregiver will not alter the normal birthing process in any way, except to collect your baby’s cord blood. Cord blood collection can take place after a vaginal or C-section birth and collection can still be performed after delayed clamping.

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Are there benefits to storing if my family doesn’t have a history of cancer or disease?

Many families have no history of disease but recognize the current and future value of their newborns’ cord blood stem cells as a resource for medical treatments.

Family History:
Family history is not a reliable indicator of need because most forms of leukemia (the most common reason for needing a stem cell transplant) are not hereditary, and the causes of many cancers and diseases are unknown. In fact, numerous serious diseases treatable with cord blood are not hereditary and occur without warning.

Odds of Use:
Although no one can predict future illness or injury, published estimates of the odds of needing stem cells for current uses in transplant medicine are 1 in 217.

Based on current data, cord blood stem cells should remain useful indefinitely, so your family may be able to use the cells for diseases and injuries that occur decades from now. The fastest growing use of cord blood stem cells for CBR families has been in regenerative medicine research for the treatment of brain injury, for which there is no family history, and juvenile diabetes.

Transplant Medicine:
In transplant medicine, a patient generally will undergo chemotherapy to treat the underlying disease and then receive an infusion of cord blood stem cells to create a new healthy blood and immune system. In fact, cord blood stem cells have been used to treat many life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and other cancers.

Regenerative Medicine:
New research with cord blood focuses on regenerative medicine, where doctors evaluate stem cells ability to repair damaged tissues and organs in the body.

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What if someone in my family is sick now and needs my child’s cord blood?

Our Newborn Possibilities Program® provides cord blood and cord tissue collection, processing, and five years of storage at no cost to eligible families with a medical need. Families may apply to the Designated Treatment Program for a qualifying relative who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease treatable with donor stem cells. For more information on the Designated Treatment Program, please click here.

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Are there risks involved in newborn stem cell treatments?

Like any medical procedure, newborn stem cell treatments may involve risks, which should be discussed with your doctor. Ultimate use of newborn stem cells will be determined by your treating physician.

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Why do families choose to collect and store their babies’ cord blood?

Banking may give families a powerful resource against injuries and diseases that can occur in the future. Every month, thousands of new parents, a number of them doctors, nurses, and scientists, store their newborn’s stem cells with CBR. Some of the important reasons to save cord blood include the following:

  • Cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells, which are used in transplant medicine to treat many life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and other cancers. As with other medical procedures, therapies using cord blood may involve risk, which should be discussed with a physician.
  • Cord blood is being evaluated today for its ability to treat cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, acquired hearing loss, and juvenile diabetes.
  • Your baby’s cord blood is available for your family if needed for treatment, without the need for painful and potentially time-consuming bone marrow harvest surgery. Early treatment can minimize disease progression.
  • If ever required for a transplant, using your own family’s cord blood instead of an unrelated donor’s can have significant advantages, including fewer complications and improved medical outcomes
  • Current clinical trials in the U.S. that use cord blood require the child’s own stem cells
  • Having a family history of disease
  • Having a baby of an ethnic minority or mixed ethnicity, in which there is greater difficulty finding stem cell donors
  • Adopting a newborn and wanting a valuable source of stem cells genetically identical to the adopted baby

It is important to know that, for certain inherited genetic conditions, the child’s own cord blood may not be used; in those cases, a matched sibling’s stem cells would be the first choice. There is no guarantee that an adequate stem cell match will be found for any given patient.

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If I move internationally, will you ship the sample if I need it?

Yes. CBR can generally send your family’s sample for treatment anywhere you need it, subject to local regulations. Please contact us so that we can discuss specifics about your family’s situation.

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What is HLA matching?

HLA matching is the criteria used to determine donor and recipient compatibility. In cord blood, it generally refers to six proteins called human leukocyte antigens (HLA) that appear on the surface of white blood cells and other tissues in the body. A transplant will only be performed if there is an adequate HLA match between the donor and recipient. A perfect six out of six match is best. Siblings have a 25% chance of being a perfect match.

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Donating Stem Cells to the Public

What are my options for saving my baby’s cord blood?

You have two options to save your baby’s cord blood:

Family banking: Your baby’s cord blood is stored for a fee for exclusive use by your family.

Newborn Possibilities Program®: CBR offers cord blood and cord tissue collection, processing and storage at no cost for five years when a family member has been diagnosed with a condition that can be treated with stem cells.

Public donation: Your baby’s cord blood is donated anonymously for potential use by a patient who needs a transplant. You must give birth in a participating hospital.

If you choose not to family bank or donate, your baby’s cord blood is discarded at the hospital.

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Can I get a sample from a public bank?

When you donate for public use, if the sample is eligible and stored, the cord blood may be available to any patient who needs a transplant, so you cannot assume that it will be available for your family if ever needed.

  • For families to make an informed decision, it is important to understand that not all donated samples are banked. As many as 71% of donations may be rejected by public banks based on family medical history, maternal medical history, collection volume, and examination of the maternal blood sample.
  • Private banking helps ensure that your baby’s cord blood is saved and available for your family if ever needed.

If someone in your family needs stem cells, the most important considerations are:

  • Quality of the sample – Collected, processed, and stored so that sterility and stem cell count are optimized
  • Matching donor – Stem cells from a matched relative (preferably a sibling) are generally the best treatment option in transplant situations, such as cancers and blood disorders. For those cases, having a matched family member’s cord blood available may have significant advantages, including fewer complications, improved survival, and a better quality of life without the need for anti-rejection medications.
  • Access to a matching sample – Many patients are unable to find a donor in the public system, especially those who belong to minority ethnic groups that are not adequately represented in public banks. There is no guarantee that a matched sample will be available in a public bank or within your family.

As with other medical procedures, therapies using cord blood involve risk, which should be discussed with your physician. For current experimental regenerative medicine applications, the child’s own cord blood is required, so storing your baby’s cord blood in a family bank is the only option.
“A patient’s best chance of finding a match is with a brother or sister.” -National Marrow Donor Program

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If someone in my family needs a transplant, could we find a donated sample from a public bank?

Possibly. However, if a patient is in need of a transplant, the physician will look first for a suitable stem cell donor within the patient’s family. Using cord blood from your own family has advantages for treating cancers and blood disorders. Matched cord blood from within your own family can result in:

  • Fewer complications
  • Improved medical outcomes

Additionally, saving cord blood for all of your children is important for participation in current clinical trials, for which the child’s own cord blood is required. There is no guarantee that an adequate stem cell match will be found in either a public bank or within your family.

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Can I donate to a public bank?

Donating to a public bank may not be possible for several reasons:

  • Only certain hospitals are able to collect cord blood donations, so not all families can donate.
  • Based on requirements for the donor and cord blood donation, many families are not eligible for donation for a variety of reasons, including family health history, maternal exposure to viruses, and international travel.
  • As many as 71% of donations may be rejected by public banks based on family medical history, maternal medical history, collection volume, and examination of the maternal blood sample.
  • If families decide too late, they may be denied access to donating.

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How do I donate my baby’s cord blood to a public bank?

With public donation, you may be able to donate your baby’s cord blood for use by an anonymous patient in need. In 2009, the National Marrow Donor Program® facilitated more than 4,800 marrow and cord blood transplants for patients who did not have matching donors in the family. For more information about donation, visit BeTheMatch.org.

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Cord Tissue Stem Cells

What is cord tissue?

Cord tissue is your baby’s umbilical cord, which contains mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells can form connective tissues such as bone, cartilage, and tendon, and have unique properties that make them promising for cellular therapies. Studies are evaluating cord tissue stem cells as possible treatments for many injuries and diseases.

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How are cord tissue stem cells being researched for use in medical treatments?

Stem cells from cord tissue have demonstrated the power to heal spinal cord, brain, and cartilage injuries in laboratory studies. This research is now beginning to move into clinical trials. It is at an early stage and medical treatments may never be developed.

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How does CBR store cord tissue?

A newborn’s umbilical cord tissue contains several different types of cells, each with different potential uses.

Because cord tissue research is still in its early stages, CBR stores your baby’s cord tissue whole, preserving all of the cells within it for your family’s potential future use. The cord tissue is cryogenically stored for long-term preservation so it can be processed to extract the cells needed using the best technology of the future.

CBR Saves the Entire Cord Tissue for the Widest Range of Treatment Options

A newborn’s umbilical cord tissue is comprised of several different cell types and each cell type has different potential.

CBR saves all cord tissue cell types from all six cord tissue regions.

Some potential medical treatments include:

 Damaged tissue, ligaments
								and organs Wounds burns and ulcers Vascular damage
Damaged tissue, ligaments and organs Wounds, burns and ulcers Vascular damage

Cord Blood

Contains unique and powerful stem cells that may help repair and heal the body in different ways than cord blood. These cells create structural and connective tissue and are currently being evaluated in 30+ clinical trials to treat heart disease, stroke and spinal cord damage, among others.

Saving cord tissue with CBR provides more options

Three key cell types from six cord tissue regions:

Cord Tissue contains unique and powerful stem cells that may help repair and heal the body in different ways than cord blood.
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Endothelial cells
  • Epithelial cells
  • Wharton’s jelly
  • Intervascular region
  • Perivascular region
  • Subamniotic region
  • Blood vessels
  • Amniotic epithelium

All cell types from a variety of tissues are being researched to potentially treat 11+ therapeutic areas:

Skeletal disease and injury
Skeletal disease and injury
Wounds, burns and ulcers
Wounds, burns and ulcers
auto immune
Autoimmune and inflammatory disease
Ocular surface disease
Ocular surface disease
heart disease
Heart and vascular disease
Vascular damage
Vascular damage
gastrointestinal
Gastrointestinal disease
 
cancer
Cancer
 
diabetes
Diabetes
 
Transplant complications
Transplant complications
 
Neurological disease and injury
Neurological disease and injury
 
1. Trounson A, Thakar R, Lomax G, Gibbons D. Clinical Trials for Stem Cell Therapies. BMC Medicine. 2011.
* CBR is currently evaluating the potential to isolate and prepare multiple cell types from cryopreserved cord tissue for potential future use.

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What is the difference between cord tissue and cord blood stem cells?

Cord tissue is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells, which create connective tissue. Cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells, which create the blood and immune system. Because of the different functions of these stem cells, cord blood and cord tissue may help repair the body in different ways. Cord tissue research is still in its early stages, and safe and effective therapies may never be developed.

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Potential Treatments

Medical Questions

Current Treatments

Are there current uses for cord blood stem cells?

Banking cord blood can change or even save a life. Cord blood stem cells have certain advantages over bone marrow stem cells in transplant, and have been used for 20 years to treat more than 80 life-threatening diseases and disorders.34 Today stem cell therapies continue to evolve, bringing new hope to patients and their families.

Below are just a few diseases and disorders that have been treated with cord blood stem cells. If you have stem cell treatment questions, please click here to request more information.

Cancer

  • Acute Leukemia
  • Chronic Leukemia
  • High-Risk Solid Tumors
  • Hodgkin & Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Blood Disorders

  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Beta Thalassemia
  • Diamond-Blackfan Anemia
  • Fanconi Anemia
  • Sickle Cell Disease

Immune Disorders

  • Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Hystiocytic Disorders
  • Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Diseases
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

Metabolic Disorders

  • Krabbe Disease
  • Hurler Syndrome
  • Metachromatic Leukodystrophy
  • Sanfilippo Syndrome

Saving or donating cord blood stem cells makes them available to treat diseases like those listed above. For inherited genetic conditions, the child may not be able to use his or her own stem cells. In these cases, a matched sibling’s stem cells would be the first choice. Only family banking also offers access to current regenerative medicine clinical trials in autism, cerebral palsy, and pediatric stroke.

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How many people have used their cord blood sample from CBR?

CBR has more experience providing cord blood for use in treatment than any other family bank. To date, we have released more than 300 samples for families to use. All of the cord blood units released for client use have been viable — the ultimate validation of our processing and storage methods.

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Is cord blood being used in medical treatments?

Over the past 20 years, cord blood stem cells have been used in 30,000 transplants to treat many life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and other cancers. In transplant medicine, a patient generally will undergo chemotherapy and then receive an infusion of cord blood stem cells to create a healthy blood and immune system.

In addition, a new field, called regenerative medicine, is evaluating cord blood stem cells’ ability to help repair and replace cells that have been damaged by disease or injury. These are conditions that have no cure today, such as autism, cerebral palsy, and pediatric stroke. These therapies are still experimental and there is no guarantee that treatments will be available.

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Clinical Trials

Does CBR have academic affiliations with research institutions?

Yes. CBR has established leadership in advancing clinical research with newborn stem cells. We are the exclusive family bank partner in studies at several prestigious medical institutions, including Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, CA, Georgia Regents University in Augusta, GA, and The University of Texas Health Science Center, in Houston (UTHealth).

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What is the difference between a pre-clinical research study and a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are experimental treatments using human subjects. They are FDA-regulated and conducted by physicians and medical institutions. Pre-clinical laboratory research uses animals and in vitro studies and is performed prior to clinical trials.

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How does the acquired hearing loss study work?

Florida Hospital for Children and Cord Blood Registry® (CBR) are launching a FDA-regulated, Phase I safety study of the use of cord blood stem cells to treat children with sensorineural hearing loss.

Approximately 15 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from low or high-frequency hearing loss. The most common type of hearing loss, especially at high frequencies, is sensorineural. Acquired sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea) and can be caused by illness, medication, noise exposure, birth injury, or head trauma.

“Babies are surviving prematurity in historically high numbers today, and with this advance we are seeing more young children born with acquired hearing loss. To date, there are no treatments to repair a damaged inner ear,” said James Baumgartner, MD, Surgical Director of Florida Hospital for Children’s Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Center, and the study’s principal investigator. “Although hearing aids and cochlear implants provide valuable access to sound, they do not restore the complexity of a fully functioning biological ear. Using cord blood stem cells to trigger the body’s own repair mechanisms could provide a non-invasive avenue to normal hearing.”

The study will enroll 10 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years old, who meet the inclusion criteria for the study. Children with genetic deafness are ineligible for study participation. To ensure consistency in cord blood stem cell quality, CBR is the only family stem cell bank providing units from clients for the study.

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How does the autism study work?

The study will enroll 30 children between the ages of two and seven, who meet the inclusion criteria for the study. Enrolled participants will receive two infusions—one of the child’s own cord blood stem cells and one of a placebo—over the course of 13 months. Both the participants and the lead investigators will be blinded from knowing the content of each infusion. To ensure consistency in cord blood stem cell quality, CBR is the only family stem cell bank providing units from clients for the study.

Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, California, and Cord Blood Registry have launched the first FDA-regulated clinical trial to assess the use of a child’s own cord blood stem cells to treat select patients with autism. This first-of-its-kind placebo-controlled study is important because 1 in 88 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders each year. The clinical trial will evaluate the ability of an infusion of cord blood stem cells to help improve language and behavior in children with autism.

“Autism is a growing public health issue. This study goes beyond treating symptoms to understanding how stem cells may initiate repair or healing in chronic conditions like cerebral palsy or autism,” stated Dr. Chez, director of pediatric neurology at Sutter Medical Center and principal study investigator. “We have evidence to suggest that certain children with autism have dysfunctional immune systems that may be damaging or delaying the development of the nervous system,” continued Dr. Chez. “Cord blood stem cells may offer ways to modulate or repair the immune systems of these patients, which would also improve language and some behavior in children who have no obvious reason to have become autistic.”

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How does the cerebral palsy study work?

Cerebral palsy, caused by a brain injury or lack of oxygen in the brain before birth or during the first few years of life, can impair movement, learning, hearing, vision, and cognitive skills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that roughly 1 in every 323 children in the United States has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Georgia Regents University

Researchers at Georgia Regents University, in partnership with Cord Blood Registry, are conducting a landmark FDA-regulated clinical trial to evaluate the use of a cord blood stem cell infusion for the treatment of cerebral palsy in children.

Dr. James Carroll, the principal investigator of the study, notes that “autologous stem cell transplantation, in which the transplant recipient is also the donor, is the safest form of stem cell transplantation because it carries virtually no threat of immune system rejection.”

For more information on this clinical trial, sign up here.

How does the study work?

Recruiting efforts are underway to enroll 40 children, between the ages of 1 and 12, diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Any level of cerebral palsy severity will be allowed. The subjects will be children whose parents have saved their infant’s cord blood, who have clinical evidence of a non-progressive motor disability, and whose parents intend to have a cord blood infusion.

To ensure consistency in cord blood stem cell quality, CBR is the only family stem cell bank providing units from clients for the study. Study participants must have been unable to sit independently by 12 months or unable to walk by 18 months and must be seizure-free or have seizures that are adequately controlled.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, in collaboration with Cord Blood Registry, are commencing an innovative FDA-regulated clinical trial to investigate two forms of stem cell therapy in children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The study aims to compare the safety and efficacy of an intravenous infusion of banked cord blood stem cells to freshly harvested bone marrow stem cells.

Dr. Charles Cox, the principal investigator of the study, notes that “there is preclinical data indicating that the ongoing neuroinflammatory response is a driver of further injury in CP so the hope is to reduce this neuroinflammation.” “Our goal is to break the cycle of inflammation and injury,” adds Cox.

For additional information regarding this clinical trial, sign up here.

How does the study work?

Recruiting efforts are underway to enroll 30 children, between the ages of 2 and 10, diagnosed with cerebral palsy: 15 with a CBR processed and stored cord blood unit who may be administered an autologous stem cell infusion and 15 children who may undergo a bone marrow harvest and autologous stem cell infusion. To evaluate improvement in functional status among participants, five children in each group will be randomized to a placebo control group during the baseline/treatment visit.

Parents will not be informed if their child received stem cells or were given a placebo until the 1-year follow-up examination. At that time, parents whose children were administered the placebo may elect to have their child receive the stem cell treatment, either through bone marrow harvest or cord blood. In order to be eligible to participate in the cord blood arm of the trial, families must have a qualified CBR processed unit that was collected at birth.

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How does the pediatric stroke study work?

The trial will enroll 10 children who have their umbilical cord blood banked with Cord Blood Registry, have experienced a perinatal stroke and who meet the inclusion criteria for the study. Children up to 6 years of age who suffered a perinatal stroke and who have access to their own CBR-processed cord blood cells may be eligible for the study. Please contact us if your child meets these criteria and is suffering from the effects of a stroke.

Families who have saved their children’s cord blood with Cord Blood Registry® now have access to a new use for the stem cells. A new clinical trial will investigate using a child’s own cord blood stem cells as treatment after a pediatric stroke. Below are details on how Cord Blood Registry is helping uncover new potential uses for cord blood stem cells.

While stroke is often thought of as a disease of the older population, the other time in life when risk is highest is from 28 weeks gestation to 4 weeks old. Stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted to part of the brain, leading to the destruction of brain cells. Stroke is one of the top 10 causes of death for children64. This trial is important because 50 to 80 percent of surviving children will have permanent neurological deficits35. If you think your child may be eligible for this FDA-regulated clinical trial, please complete this form.

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Can my children participate in a clinical trial if their stem cells are not banked with CBR?

Clinical trials are evaluating cord blood stem cells for their ability to help conditions and injuries like autism, pediatric stroke, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury. Currently, all FDA-regulated clinical trials require the use of a child’s banked cord blood stem cells. Several of these trials are only available to children who have their own stem cells banked with CBR.

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How are patients for clinical trials chosen?

The inclusion criteria for each trial are different. To get connected to future clinical trials that are open to CBR families, please visit CBR’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

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What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine is a new approach to treatment. It’s all about establishing normal function in the body through exciting areas such as gene therapies, tissue engineering and cell-based therapies, which stem cells play a vital role in1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified the value of this cutting-edge approach and stated that “regenerative medicine is a rapidly growing field of biomedicine that will revolutionize health care treatment2.” In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. may benefit from a regenerative therapy in their lifetime3.

  1. Mason, Brindley, Culme-Seymour, Davie. Cell therapy industry: billion dollar global business with unlimited potential. Regen Med. 2011:6(3)265-272.
  2. S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2020: A New Vision. A Future for Regenerative Medicine. 2006.
  3. Harris DT. Expert Opin. Biol. Ther. 2007 Sep;7(9):1311-22.

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Potential Treatments

Are there more conditions being researched to potentially use stem cells?

In addition to current, FDA-regulated clinical trials, the same types of stem cells that are found in cord blood and cord tissue are being used in early-stage research. Although researchers can’t say what these studies will yield, newborn stem cells are demonstrating a growing range of potential uses across a variety of therapeutic areas.

Spinal Cord Injury

A study published in June 2010 in the journal Spine, found that newborn cord blood stem cells can improve the neurologic function of rats after an acute spinal cord injury.24 The rats treated in the study experienced a significantly improved recovery of locomotor function (the ability to move from place to place) over a six-week period compared to untreated rats. In addition, six weeks after treatment, the injured area was noticeably smaller in the treated animals than in the untreated animals. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that supports the therapeutic potential of cord blood stem cells for nerve repair.

Lung Injury

Research shows that mesenchymal stem cells from cord blood may significantly reduce lung injury and inflammation in infants suffering from bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). BPD is a lung disease that usually occurs in premature infants who receive ventilator support and oxygen supplementation to treat respiratory distress. The damage associated with BPD can lead to long-term complications and even death. Recent animal studies suggest that newborn stem cells may offer a treatment option.15

Stroke

Mesenchymal stem cells found in cord tissue are being evaluated in animal studies for their ability to treat ishemic stroke, a condition that occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked. Animals treated with cord tissue stem cells experienced a decrease in the size of injury, with increased blood flow to the affected area. Treated animals also experienced increased motor control, likely due to the stem cells’ ability to secrete factors that promote blood flow and encourage the brain’s natural healing process.16

Parkinson’s Disease

Early laboratory studies suggest that mesenchymal stem cells from cord tissue can help improve motor function in animals afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. One study indicated that the stem cells reduced some functional effects of the disease, making stem cell treatment a potential therapeutic strategy.17

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by insoluble protein deposits in the brain called beta amyloids. A study evaluating the effect of human cord blood mesenchymal stem cells on Alzheimer’s disease in mice showed a marked reduction in beta amyloids, as the stem cells actively migrated to the affected parts of the brain. These results have led to human clinical trials.18

Peripheral Artery Occlusive Disease

Peripheral artery occlusive disease, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs, can result in decreased blood flow to the limbs, which could result in pain, wounds that don’t heal properly, and a noticeable change in skin color. Animal studies using stem cells from cord blood show promising results in the creation of new blood vessels and restoring blood flow. In animals, limbs injected with cord blood stem cells experienced an increase in the number and density of blood vessels over the limbs that weren’t injected.20

Liver Disease

Early laboratory studies evaluating the effects of mesenchymal stem cells from cord blood on liver cirrhosis showed significant improvements in function after infusion. Liver cirrhosis is characterized by tissue scarring, fluid retention, and risk of infection. Results of stem cell infusion showed increased generation of glucose and insulin, which improves liver function.21

Heart Repair

According to laboratory research conducted at the University Hospital of Munich in 2008, umbilical cord blood may help repair defective heart valves in infants. In the study, stem cells were seeded onto eight heart valve scaffolds constructed of a biodegradable material. The bio-engineered valves acted similarly to natural heart valves when they were tested for normal blood flow and pressure. Over time, the scaffolds dissolved, leaving behind fully formed valves made from the stem cells.22

Bone Repair

In March 2010, researchers at Columbia University made significant progress in an area of regenerative medicine focusing on bone repair. They report that they created a tissue-engineered jaw bone using mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow. These stem cells, which are also found in cord blood and tissue, naturally generate connective tissue such as bone and cartilage, making bone regeneration one of the most investigated therapeutic areas for mesenchymal stem cells today. These studies demonstrate the possibilities of bringing tissue-engineered bone to the operating room. A number of global institutions are testing tissue-engineered bones from a variety of mesenchymal stem cell sources for safety and feasibility.23

Wound Healing

Early studies are investigating the effect of human cord blood stem cells on wound healing in diabetic mice. Slow wound healing in diabetics may be caused by poor circulation, nerve damage, or complications with the immune system. Results of these animal studies show a significantly accelerated healing process in the mice that were injected with cord blood stem cells, especially those injected directly into the wound. Researchers also found, as the wound healed, the number of newly formed blood vessels increased in the mice that received the cord blood.25

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, is triggered by an increase in the number of certain cells in the joints. Laboratory studies using mesenchymal stem cells derived from cord tissue were able to slow down the increase of these cells in the joints and suppress their inflammatory effects. Researchers note that injecting cord tissue MSCs in mice reduced the severity of the disease on a whole.26

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Medical Questions

Does collecting cord blood affect delayed cord clamping?

Cord blood collection is painless, easy, and safe for both mother and newborn. The cord blood is collected after your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. The cord blood being collected is blood that would normally be discarded after birth. Your caregiver will not alter the normal birthing process in any way, except to collect your baby’s cord blood. Cord blood collection can take place after a vaginal or C-section birth and collection can still be performed after delayed clamping.

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How is cord blood collected?

Collecting cord blood is a simple, safe, and painless procedure that usually takes less than five minutes and happens immediately after birth. After the umbilical cord has been cut, the remaining blood in the cord is collected. Your healthcare provider will be familiar with this procedure and does not need to alter the normal birthing process in any way. The cord blood is then shipped to the laboratory, processed, and frozen in cryogenic storage tanks for long-term preservation. If you do not save your baby’s cord blood, it will be discarded after birth.

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How is cord tissue collected?

Cord tissue collection is safe for both the mother and baby and can be done after vaginal or C-section births. After your baby’s umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, and after cord blood collection, your doctor or midwife will collect a 4- to 8-inch segment of the umbilical cord and place it in the CBR CordCup® container. The collection kit is then returned to CBR’s laboratory by an express courier.

If you do not save your baby’s cord tissue, it is discarded as medical waste.

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How is cord blood used in medical treatments?

Cord blood stem cells have been successfully used in transplant medicine for more than 20 years. Cord blood has been used to treat many life-threatening diseases including leukemia, other cancers, blood disorders, metabolic disorders, and immune diseases.

Cord blood also is being used in regenerative medicine research, where stem cells are being evaluated for their ability to induce healing and regenerate cells to repair tissues. Clinical trials are evaluating a child’s own cord blood stem cell infusions as experimental therapies to treat cerebral palsy, brain injury, juvenile diabetes, and acquired hearing loss.

Your physician will determine if cord blood stem cells should be used and if one’s own stem cells or a matched donor’s would be the best course of treatment. Like other medical procedures, therapies using cord blood may involve risk, which should be discussed with your physician.

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Does having more stem cells matter for treatment outcomes?

Yes. In transplant medicine, having more stem cells can improve medical outcomes, including faster recovery and fewer complications.

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What is graft vs. host disease (GvHD)?

GvHD is one of the most common and life-threatening side effects of using stem cells from another individual or “donor” to treat the patient. In fact, GvHD is the leading cause of death following a transplant. GvHD occurs when the transplanted stem cells from a donor recognize the recipient’s body as foreign and attack it. Stem cells from cord blood are less likely to cause GvHD than bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells. Family banked cord blood can help reduce GvHD and improve treatment outcomes because:

  • The stem cells in cord blood are more flexible and less reactive than adult stem cells from other sources
  • Cord blood used between family members has a lower risk of GvHD compared to cord blood from unrelated donors

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What is HLA matching?

HLA matching is the criteria used to determine donor and recipient compatibility. In cord blood, it generally refers to six proteins called human leukocyte antigens (HLA) that appear on the surface of white blood cells and other tissues in the body. A transplant would only be performed if there is an adequate HLA match between donor and recipient. A perfect six out of six match is best. Siblings are the most commonly used related donors.

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How long can stem cells be stored?

Based on published regulatory guidelines and current science involving cryogenic storage of cells, cord blood stem cells should remain useful indefinitely, so your family may be able to use the cells for diseases and injuries that occur decades from now.

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Are there risks involved in newborn stem cell treatments?

Like any medical procedure, newborn stem cell treatments may involve risks, which should be discussed with your doctor. Ultimate use of newborn stem cells will be determined by your treating physician.

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The CBR Gift Registry

Pricing and The Fine Print

How much does it cost to save my newborn’s stem cells?

Click here to view CBR’s pricing options for saving your newborn’s cord blood and/or cord tissue stem cells.

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Are payment plans available?

Fact:

The first-year fee for newborn stem cell banking is similar to common household purchases, such as a vacation or a new TV. After the initial collection and processing, the annual storage fee works out to be about $11/month.

Compared to the other ways you already protect your family, such as home or auto insurance, saving your baby’s cord blood could offer the most valuable protection of all. Because if you ever need it, the lifesaving potential of cord blood stem cells is priceless.

CBR offers several options to help make cord blood banking affordable for every family:

  • Monthly payment plans, including $55 per month for 48 months for cord blood banking
  • The CBR Gift Registry to which family and friends can contribute
  • Prepay and save

CBR also offers a Newborn Possibilities Program, which provides cord blood and cord tissue collection, processing, and five years of storage at no cost to families with a medical need.

Learn more about the value of cord blood and tissue banking and your payment options for saving this potentially lifesaving resource.

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Is there special pricing for multiple births?

CBR has special pricing available in the event of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.). Click here to view our multiple births pricing.

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Is cord blood banking an eligible expense through my FSA/HSA?

Today, family banking is not an FSA or HSA eligible expense. In order for cord blood banking — or any service or product that falls under the category of “Ineligible Expense” per IRS sec 213 (d)(1) — to qualify under a plan or program, a health care professional must provide evidence of medical necessity with the infant or other family member covered under the HSA/FSA for the cost of harvesting and storing cord blood to be an eligible medical expense.

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Will I be charged a fee by my healthcare provider for the collection?

Similar to services like circumcision, your provider may charge a fee to collect your newborn’s stem cells. Please check with your insurance carrier to see if they cover this fee.

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Who owns my baby’s banked newborn stem cells?

Your baby’s banked stem cells belong to your baby. As your baby’s legal guardian, you act on your baby’s behalf in deciding what to do with the stem cells until the child turns 18 years old. After the child is 18 years old, only he or she can decide what to do with the cells. If you terminate the storage contract with CBR before the child turns 18, you are deciding that it is your child’s best interests to not save these stem cells anymore. In such case, CBR will own the sample. If you terminate the storage contract after the child turns 18, we will attempt to contact the child for instruction on whether to terminate the account.

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What is the cost of saving my baby’s cord tissue?

Click here to learn about pricing.

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The CBR Gift Registry

What is the CBR Gift Registry?

Announce the decision to bank your newborn’s stem cells for potential future use

  • Invite family, friends, and your entire social network to contribute to the gift of banking
  • Send customized email announcements or print contribution cards that can be added to baby shower invitations

Gather small contributions that could add up to pay for the cost of banking

  • CBR’s secure online payment process allows flexible contribution amounts
  • Instantly be notified of all contributions and stay up-to-date on your balance

Use your gift registry as a “savings account” and make monthly contributions before your due date!

  • Educate others on the current and emerging benefits of newborn stem cell banking
  • Get the latest stem cell news and share videos of real families who have benefited from newborn stem cell therapies

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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Who can participate in the CBR Gift Registry?

The CBR Gift Registry is available to any family that is interested in storing their child’s newborn stem cells with CBR. You do not have to be enrolled with CBR’s cord blood banking service in order to start your gift registry.

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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Who is able to contribute to a CBR Gift Registry account?

Parents who register with the CBR Gift Registry can easily share their personalized registry page via email, printed announcement cards, or through various online social networks. Anyone can contribute prior to your baby’s birth. Your CBR Gift Registry will automatically close when your newborn’s sample is received and stored. If a contributor has specific questions about our gift registry, they may call 1.877.CORD.BLOOD (Mon – Fri: 6am – 5:30pm PST).

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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Can a family member or friend give to a Gift Registry over the phone?

The CBR Gift Registry only accepts contributions online with a valid credit card.

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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Why do I need a credit card to contribute to a Gift Registry?

To contribute to the CBR Gift Registry, you will need a valid credit card including the 3 digit code found on the back of the card. All credit transactions are secured with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. Your account will be charged immediately after you authorize your contribution.

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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What if I opt to pay my cord blood banking first year fees in full? How will I receive my contributions?

If you opt to pay your processing fee in full, your contributions will be deducted from the amount you would have paid. Remember, you are not charged until after your baby is born. For example, you opted to pay in full once the baby is born ($1,995) and receive $900 in contributions. Your new total due would be $1,095 once your baby is born.

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Why does my account close the day my baby’s newborn stem cells arrive at the lab? What happens once it is closed?

Your account closes on the day your baby’s newborn stem cells arrive at the lab so we can reconcile your account before you are billed. Once your account is closed, it will no longer accept additional contributions. You will still be able to log in and check your account and remaining balance but you will not be able to send announcements.

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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What happens if I do not enroll with CBR’s service to collect and store my baby’s newborn stem cells?

All contributions will be refunded directly to the contributor’s credit card.

Enroll in CBR’s cord banking services

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What are CBR’s Gift Registry terms and conditions?

By participating in CBR’s Gift Registry, you consent to have your information viewed by visitors to this site. Your name, state, and month due will be displayed. In addition, you are authorizing CBR to send an email (Gift Registry announcements) to your friends and family on your behalf.

If you do not enroll in CBR’s service or do not store your newborn’s cord blood stem cells, contributions to your CBR Gift Registry account will be refunded back to contributors. Contributions will be refunded directly to the credit card of the contributor.

The Terms and Conditions that govern www.cordblood.com apply to www.cordblood.com/giftregistry.

CBR’s gift registry for expecting mothers

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The Enrollment Process

Kit Shipping Instructions — Where do I send my kit?

Call 1-888-588-1292 for One-Step ShippingSM* when your baby’s cord blood is ready to be shipped to our laboratory.

Hospital pickup is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please have the following available when you call:

  • Tracking number on the enclosed airbill
  • Hospital address (to confirm) and room number
  • Deposit ID (located on the green or white bar code label on the side of the kit)

CBR’s One-Step ShippingSM* option makes returning your collection kit to our lab as simple as one phone call. CBR prearranges shipping with an experienced courier service. In order to take advantage of One-Step ShippingSM, you must use the enclosed airbill to return the kit.*

You may check the status of your collection kit while in route to our lab by entering the airbill number (8 digit number printed in red on the top right-hand side of the airbill) on Quick International’s website: http://quick.aero/quickintl. We will notify you by e-mail when your collection kit reaches our lab.

* You are not required to use the One-Step Shipping option; you may use any express courier of your choice.

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What happens after my baby’s cord blood has been stored successfully?

As part of our complete customer service, we notify each of our clients after their newborns’ stem cells have been stored. If you provide CBR with your email address, you will receive instant notification the moment your baby’s cord blood is received at our lab. You will also be contacted by phone within seven business days of the sample being processed. Your baby’s Certificate of Deposit will be available through your online account three weeks after the cord blood has been received. This certificate can be viewed and printed for your records.

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If my family ever needs the cord blood sample, how do we retrieve it?

Should the need arise, CBR will work with your physician to make arrangements for confirmatory testing, release, and transportation of your baby’s stem cells to a designated hospital.

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How do I enroll with Cord Blood Registry to save my newborn’s cord blood and/or cord tissue stem cells?

The enrollment process is quick and easy. We offer two methods of enrollment for your convenience — either online or over the phone.

Call 1.877.CORD.BLOOD
Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to 9:00 pm PT
Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 am to 4:00 pm PT
We will ship your CBR CellAdvantage Collection Kit immediately after your enrollment is complete.

Enroll in CBR’s cord banking services

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What does enrolling with CBR mean?

Enrolling with CBR means that you have decided to save your baby’s cord blood with CBR, a family bank. Saving privately means that your baby’s stem cells will be available for your family’s use, should the need ever arise and the family member is an HLA match for the stem cells. There is a fee to save privately, but you will not be charged until after your baby’s cord blood is safely stored.

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When should I enroll with CBR?

Many babies arrive before their due date. You only have one opportunity to bank your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue, so we strongly recommend making the decision during your second trimester, if possible. However, CBR can overnight a collection kit to you if your due date is near.

Enroll in CBR’s cord banking services

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I’m planning to adopt. How does that change the process?

CBR has participated in hundreds of adoption cases for our clients. We are very experienced with the unique issues surrounding the adoption process as it relates to newborn stem cell collection and storage. For more details, please contact a Cord Blood Education Specialist at 1.877.CORD.BLOOD.

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How does CBR ensure the confidentiality of my personal information?

CBR takes confidentiality seriously. Because of the sensitive nature of families’ medical information, all CBR employees sign confidentiality agreements. The collection and use of your personal information is governed by our privacy policy. Click here to view our privacy policy.

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What if I do not live in the U.S.?

We proudly serve clients in more than 80 countries around the world. International couriers are available to provide customs clearance and typically provide delivery to our laboratory within 36 hours of collection. International shipping fees will vary.

Pricing for international cord banking

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CBR’s Collection

CBR’s Shipping

CBR’s Storage

CBR’s Standards & Technical Questions

CBR’s Process

What is processing?

The purpose of processing is to separate stem cells from the rest of the cord blood, producing a sample that can be used safely and successfully.

  • CBR processes cord blood without any unnecessary additives.
  • Reducing red blood cells decreases the likelihood of certain complications in future use.

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What processing technology does CBR use?

CBR uses AXP® processing technology when separating out the cell concentration rich in stem cells from your family’s cord blood collection for ultimate precision. The AXP AutoXpress® Platform* is FDA-cleared and automated to assist with cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) and cGTP (current good tissue practice) compliance.

Product Feature77

Benefits to Our Families
Automated, functionally closed, sterile system for volume reduction of blood components.
  • Ensures consistent sterility & quality
  • Prevents exposure to environmental pathogens common in manual processes
Consistently provides high recoveries of stem-cell rich MNCs from cord blood.
  • Proven ability to recover 99% of cells — 20% higher than processes using Sepax® and Hespan®
  • Repeatable and consistent process, unlike manual systems
Quick and accurate data tracking with XpressTRAK® software.
  • Exact measurements at every step of the process prevents human error
  • Fully electronic documentation and quality controls provide complete and accurate records every time

Having more stem cells for treatment has been shown to improve medical outcomes.10

Having more stem cells for treatment has been shown to improve medical outcomes

Additional resources comparing cord blood processing methods

AXP

Reference: Rosenthal J, Brown HL, Harris DT. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2008;14(2). Abstract presented at the 2008 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) Annual Meeting.

Sepax

Reference: Papassavas AC, Gioka V, Chatzistamatiou T, et al. A strategy of splitting individual high volume cord blood units into two half subunits prior to processing increases the recovery of cells and facilitates ex vivo expansion of the infused hematopoietic progenitor cells in adults. Int J Lab Hematol. 2008;30(2):124-132.

Hespan

Reference: Kurtzberg J, Cairo MS, Fraser JK, et al. Results of the cord blood transplantation (COBLT) study unrelated donor banking program. Transfusion. 2005;45(6):842-855.

* AXP and AutoXpress are registered trademarks of ThermoGenesis Corp.
† All registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
‡ XpressTRAK software is a registered trademark of ThermoGenesis Corp.

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How many cord blood samples has CBR processed and stored?

CBR has processed and stored more than 550,000 cord blood and cord tissue stem cell units and has helped many families use their stem cells for lifesaving transplants and other therapies. Our long history of experience and proven track record delivers confidence in the quality and dependability of our service.

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What is red blood cell (or RBC) depletion?

Red blood cell depletion or reduction is a procedure performed by almost every cord blood bank prior to cryogenic storage. It is the process of removing most of the red blood cells from a cord blood sample before storage.

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Why do most cord blood banks remove the majority of red blood cells from a cord blood collection before storage?

Most cord blood banks, including CBR, remove the majority of red blood cells from the sample because they may cause severe complications if the sample is used in a transplant. Red blood cells are not part of the healing stem cell population in your baby’s cord blood, so removing them has little effect on the cells you want to save. CBR’s processing system separates the red blood cells from the lifesaving stem cells. Our published cell recovery rate of 99% is the highest in the industry and based on the cells you want to save.

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What kinds of complications can occur when red blood cells are NOT removed?

Cryogenically frozen red blood cells often burst when thawed for use. Jagged red blood cell fragments in a transplant unit may lead to complications such as anemia, jaundice, and shock, if the cord blood is used in treatment.

Also, keeping the red blood cells requires using more cryopreservative for freezing. Increasing the amount of cryopreservative also increases the likelihood that nausea, vomiting, and side effects to the respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous system can occur.

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Is there anything unique about CBR’s processing method?

Answer

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Where are my baby’s cord blood stem cells stored, and how do I know they are stored safely?

Your baby’s cord blood will be stored at Cord Blood Registry’s state-of-the-art laboratory and storage facility in Tucson, Arizona, which is one of the safest cities in the nation in terms of risk from hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, winter storms, and tornados. Our 80,000-square-foot laboratory is the largest newborn stem cell bank in the world with some of the most advanced technology in the industry. We currently have the capacity to safely store cord blood for more than 5 million newborns.

Our processing, quality-control, and quality-assurance metrics are in accordance with FDA guidelines, and we are accredited by the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and certified by CLIA (a federal program to ensure quality laboratory testing). CBR’s laboratory technology provides secure, long-term protection for your baby’s stem cells.

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CBR’s Collection

What are the contents of CBR’s cord blood and cord tissue collection kit?

CBR has created the world’s only collection device designed specifically for cord blood stem cells.

Cord blood collection is safe and painless for you and your baby. Your healthcare provider does not need to alter the normal birthing process in any way.

Radiopaque needle cover offers extra safety:

Radiopaque needle cover

 

Clamp-on tubing

Clamp-on tubing

gives physician control over sterility and blood flow.

SoftLock safety guard

SoftLockTM safety guard

covers the needle before and after cord blood collection.

Sterile clearance vent

Sterile clearance vent

sends any blood remaining in the tubing after collection into the bag, resulting in higher collection volumes.

ActiveFlo chamber

CBR’s unique ActiveFlo chamber

Our unique ActiveFlo® chamber allows physicians to visually monitor the collection, helping to maximize blood flow and collection.

Heparin

CBR chose to use dry heparin

CBR chose to use heparin because it is proven to be safe. It is a more effective anticoagulant than CPD in contributing to a higher cell recovery69.

Bag

No liquid anticoagulant in the collection bag.

Dry heparin anticoagulant in the ActiveFlo chamber gives your healthcare provider clear visibility of blood volumes, reducing the risk of ending the collection too soon.

CordCup Container

CordCup® container

CBR created the first cord tissue collection system in the U.S., including CordPrep® and CordCup®, to protect the tissue and minimize contamination during transportation to the lab.

Parent and Doctor Guides

Parent and doctor guides

provide instructions to make the collection process simple.

Unique Kit Design

Unique kit design

Unique kit design folds into a crush-resistant, temperature protected, and electronically tracked device that actively transforms into a cube to help ensure that it is protected and delivered safely.

CBR's Trusted Network:

In 2007, CBR launched the Healthcare Provider Network (HPN) as a resource center for education and information about cord blood collection services. Because cord blood collection is typically not covered by insurance, CBR reimburses healthcare providers for their time and effort in providing a professional service. CBR only provides payment for collections to physicians and midwives who are affiliated with the Healthcare Provider Network. The HPN seeks to:

  • Educate providers about the quality of newborn stem cell collection and its importance for infusions as well as clinical trials;
  • Offer tools for enabling healthcare professionals to collect useful samples for future, potential medical applications; and
  • Give feedback on the quality of collections.

CBR does not compensate doctors affiliated with the HPN for patient enrollment or referrals. CBR’s client enrollment forms advise patients that healthcare providers in the HPN are compensated for the collection procedure. Client contracts are consistent with the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommendation that physicians disclose financial interests. More information from ACOG is available here: Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Additional resources: See how heparin benefits our families during collection

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Is cord blood collection safe?

Cord blood collection is safe and painless for you and your baby. Your healthcare provider does not need to alter the normal birthing process in any way, except to collect your baby’s cord blood after the cord has been clamped and cut. Cord blood collection is a simple procedure that usually takes about 5 minutes.

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How many healthcare providers have collected for CBR?

More than 35,000 healthcare providers have collected cord blood for our clients at more than 3,500 hospitals and birthing centers throughout the U.S. and in more than 80 countries. We have provided extensive educational resources and training to physicians, midwives, and hospitals to help ensure effective collections.

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Does my CBR CellAdvantage Collection Kit have to be kept at room temperature at all times?

Yes. Your collection kit should be kept at room temperature both before and after your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue collection. Never refrigerate the collection kit or expose it to freezing temperatures or extreme heat, like in a closed vehicle or car trunk.

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What is an anticoagulant?

All cord blood collections require the use of an anticoagulant, which prevents blood clot formation and loss of stem cells during transit. Heparin and CPD are both anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from forming. Bone marrow stem cells are routinely collected in heparin, while whole blood donations are routinely collected in CPD. The selection of an anticoagulant has an impact on processing, collecting, and transporting stem cells. It is important to have your stem cells collected using the anticoagulant of choice for stem cell collections.

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Is Heparin safe?

Yes. For over forty years, standard physician protocol has been to collect bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells in heparin. These are the same type of stem cells found in cord blood. In addition, dry heparin helps physicians collect a larger volume of cord blood and allows for greater cell recovery during processing.

Heparin and CPD are both anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from forming. Bone marrow stem cells are routinely collected in heparin, while whole blood donations are routinely collected in CPD. The selection of an anticoagulant has an impact on processing, collecting, and transporting stem cells. It is important to have your stem cells collected using the anticoagulant of choice for stem cell collections.

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What are the benefits of Heparin?

Processing: Every stem cell is precious.

Anticoagulant selection impacts the number of stem cells recovered during processing. This is critical as the Total Nucleated Cell count, or TNC, (a cell population rich in stem cells) is a primary selection criterion for transplant physicians. Lyophilized (dry) Heparin has a 17% greater mean TNC recovery in the product storage bag than units collected in CPD69.

TNC Recovery Across AXP Compartments

Collection: Volume is important.

Dry heparin allows cord blood to be collected without dilution, preventing acidification and other dilution-related issues. Prolonged exposure of cells to an acidic environment, similar to that found with CPD at low blood to CPD dilutions, may induce losses in cell viability and can adversely impact cell recovery.76 Compared to CPD, lyophilized heparin does not dilute the cord blood and increases cell recovery up to 73%, over the wide range of cord blood sample volumes collected by family banks.70

Stage 1: Collection Stage 2: Processing

Transport: Time is of the essence.

Anticoagulant and transport time can have a significant impact on cell viability and concentration.

  • Longer cell viability preservation: Heparin maintains greater cord blood cell viability than CPD at 24 and 48 hours.
  • Higher cell concentration: Heparin maintains higher concentration of cord blood cells than CPD at 48 hours.71

TNC Concentration TNC Viability

A study recently published in Transfusion reported that for cord blood units collected in CPD, cell viability was significantly affected by the collection volume and time to freezing. Researchers believe that the decreased viability in smaller volume collections may be due to a higher ratio of CPD anticoagulant to blood.72

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When and how is the cord blood collected?

Cord blood collection occurs after birth, immediately after the umbilical cord has been cut. The remaining blood in the cord is drawn into a collection bag. Your healthcare provider can collect cord blood after a vaginal or C-section birth. The CBR CellAdvantage® collection system helps experienced providers collect more cord blood.

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Can cord blood be collected after a C-section?

Yes. CBR’s cord blood collection system is fully sterile and may be used following a C-section.

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Does the amount of cord blood collected matter?

Yes. Typically, collecting more cord blood means collecting more stem cells. This is important because having more stem cells for treatment can improve medical outcomes if the cells are needed for transplant. That’s why CBR’s CellAdvantage collection system is designed to collect more cord blood. The combination of CBR’s anticoagulant and superior processing technology yields us the highest published stem cell recovery rate in the industry.

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Does the hospital need to provide any materials for my baby’s collection?

No. You will receive a CBR CellAdvantage Collection Kit from CBR or your healthcare provider. Your kit contains all the items your healthcare provider needs to safely and painlessly collect your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue. However, you must remember to take the kit with you to the hospital when you deliver.

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How long will the cord blood remain viable in the kit after collection?

For the best results, we recommend our clients call the One-Step Shipping number as soon as possible after collection. With CBR’s One-Step Shipping, the collection kit is typically delivered to CBR’s Arizona facility from anywhere in the U.S. in less than 19 hours.

Time is critical for the preservation of newborn stem cells. After 20 years and 500,000 cord blood and cord tissue stem cell collections in 3,500 hospitals in over 100 countries, we’ve become experts in stem cell transport. With one phone call, CBR’s convenient One-Step ShippingSM service arranges an express courier pick-up from your hospital room so you can relax with your new baby and know your baby’s stem cells are safe.

To be safe, CBR uses dry heparin anticoagulant to help ensure collections remain viable in the case of unavoidably long shipping times.

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CBR’s Shipping

Where are my baby’s cord blood stem cells stored, and how do I know they are stored safely?

CBR works with Quick International, a private courier service with 30 years of experience as the market leader in the transport of cord blood, tissue, organs, and the US blood inventory.

CBR’s safe shipping device and private medical courier gets your kit to the lab fast for processing. This means that, no matter where a family gives birth, their baby’s cord blood may be safely stored before mom and the little one head home.

Your baby’s cord blood will be stored at Cord Blood Registry’s state-of-the-art laboratory and storage facility in Tucson, Arizona, which is one of the safest cities in the nation in terms of risk from hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, winter storms, and tornados. Our 80,000-square-foot laboratory is the largest newborn stem cell bank in the world with some of the most advanced technology in the industry. We currently have the capacity to safely store cord blood for more than 5 million newborns.

Our processing, quality-control, and quality-assurance metrics are in accordance with FDA guidelines, and we are accredited by the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and certified by CLIA (a federal program to ensure quality laboratory testing). CBR’s laboratory technology provides secure, long-term protection for your baby’s stem cells.

FEATURES:

  • 19 hour average delivery time from hospital to lab
  • Next-flight out courier service
  • Real-time tracking
  • Crush-resistant temperature protected collection kit

State-of-the-art processing and storage:

  • Uses only FDA-cleared, seamless s"torage bags
  • Stores samples in segments for the possibility of multiple uses
  • Safeguards against cross-contamination by hermetically sealing each sample in overwrap envelopes and suspending them above liquid nitrogen

Fast Transport: Collection to Storage

  1. CBR developed our collection kit: a crush-resistant, temperature protected, and electronically tracked device that actively transforms into a cube to encase your stem cell collection, to ensure that it is protected and delivered safely.
  2. Next-flight service to our lab in Tucson, Arizona with Quick International’s global network of air partners.
  3. You will receive confirmation from us as soon as your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue are received in our lab so that you know it arrived safely.
CBR Transport Diagram

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How is my baby’s cord blood sent to CBR’s laboratory?

CBR’s One-Step ShippingSM service makes returning your baby’s collection kit to our lab as simple as a single phone call. After the collection, the labor and delivery staff will return the collection kit to you or a designated family member. The collection kit is pre-labeled and folds into a crush-resistant cube.

With one phone call, CBR’s convenient One-Step Shipping arranges an express courier pick-up from your hospital room so you can relax with your new baby. Real-time tracking and next-flight service to our lab in Tucson, Arizona, helps us ensure fast delivery, which is important for maximum cell viability. You will receive confirmation from us as soon as your baby’s cord blood is received and processed.

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CBR’s Storage

Should I choose a cord blood bank that is close to my home?

The safety and viability of your baby’s stem cells are far more important than the proximity of the storage location to your home. Therefore, a safe geographic location combined with a high-quality processing system are the most important factors when it comes to choosing a bank. Should your family ever need them, CBR will quickly ship your stem cells to any medical center in the world.

  • Having the most stem cells for treatment and ensuring the long-term safety and viability of those cells is important. CBR goes above and beyond: with the exclusive CBR CellAdvantage® system, every detail has been diligently developed, resulting in the best technology available for collecting, processing, and storing cord blood stem cells.
  • CBR has helped more clients use their stem cells for transplants and experimental regenerative medicine therapies than any other family bank. All of the stem cell units released for client use have been viable for treatment.

It is also important for the bank’s laboratory and storage facility to be in a location that is not subject to major environmental disasters:

  • CBR’s laboratory is located in Tucson, Arizona, one of the safest cities in the nation in terms of risk from hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, winter storms, and tornadoes.

Most families will require long-term storage. Therefore, it is important to choose a cord blood bank that is financially stable and more likely to be there if you need your stem cells:

  • CBR’s track record of long-term stability and financial strength demonstrates our commitment to being here for you in the future

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How do I know that my baby’s cord blood will not be confused with someone else’s?

Your baby’s cord blood is constantly tracked and easily found through our identification system:

  1. Unique identifier (bar code). When you enroll with CBR, your baby’s collection kit is assigned a bar code. This same identifier remains with your baby’s cord blood kit, paperwork, and sample all the way to storage.
  2. Client bar code label. Your cord blood sample is easily identified by the Client ID label, which is permanently attached to the storage bag. Each sample is encased in an outer protective layer to ensure the barcode never detaches from the sample.
  3. Once your baby’s cord blood is stored, the storage location is logged in our computer system, which we back up to tape daily.

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CBR’s Standards & Technical Questions

What federal or state guidelines or regulations does CBR follow?

At CBR, all processing, quality control, and quality assurance metrics are in accordance with:

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Does CBR have affiliations with research institutions?

Yes. CBR has a long-term affiliation with the University of Arizona through Dr. David T. Harris, professor of microbiology and immunology. Dr. Harris was the first to preserve a child’s own cord blood stem cells for future use.

CBR also has established leadership in advancing clinical research with newborn stem cells. We are the exclusive family bank partner for studies at several prestigious medical institutions, including Georgia Health Sciences University, Memorial Hermann Healthcare Institution and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health).

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Is CBR a financially stable company?

Yes. CBR’s consistent corporate leadership and financial stability is unparalleled in this industry. Our continued investment in the best technology and our state-of-the-art lab demonstrates our commitment to being here for you in the future.

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Does CBR own its laboratory?

Yes. Our cutting-edge laboratory was designed and built specifically for newborn stem cell processing and storage. At 80,000-square feet and currently holding more than 400,000 cord blood and tissue samples and with the capacity to safely store cord blood for more than five million newborns, our laboratory is the largest newborn stem cell bank in the world. CBR’s lab is located in Tucson, Arizona, one of the safest cities in the nation in terms of risk from hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, winter storms, and tornados.

Our state-of-the-art processing, quality-control, and quality-assurance metrics are in accordance with FDA guidelines, and we are accredited by the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and certified by CLIA (a federal program to ensure quality laboratory testing). CBR’s storage technology system provides highly secure, long-term protection for your baby’s stem cells.

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How does CBR ensure the confidentiality of my personal information?

CBR takes confidentiality seriously. Because of the sensitive nature of families’ medical information, all CBR employees sign confidentiality agreements. The collection and use of your personal information is governed by our privacy policy. Click here to view our privacy policy.

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