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FAQs

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.106

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.82

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. 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.

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 in. 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 treatment." In fact, it's estimated that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. may benefit from a regenerative therapy in their lifetime.73

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

You have 3 options to save your baby's cord blood:
  1. Family banking: Your baby's cord blood is stored for a fee for exclusive use by your family.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 bank or donate, your baby's cord blood is discarded at the hospital.

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.106 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

Preserving cord blood stem cells makes them available for your family, while donating cord blood stem cells makes them available to others 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.

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. 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.

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.

It’s 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.106

Doctors are using cord blood to save lives today and researching cord blood as potential treatment for diseases that currently have no cure.80

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.106

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.82

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 transplants142
  • Ability to use one’s own stem cells for certain conditions in an “autologous transplant” or infusion
  • Immediately available and can minimize disease progression in early treatment142
  • Preserving them “stops the clock” and protects the cells from aging and being exposed to environmental factors and common viruses that can decrease their function44,40
Comparison of stem cell sourcesNewbornAdultEmbryonic
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.

The opportunity for expectant families to collect and store their newborns’ umbilical cord blood stem cells has been available since1992 Currently, thousands of parents are taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In fact, CBR has banked cord blood for more than 900,000 newborns and over 1 million expectant parents.138

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.

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.

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.143
  • 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.40

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.

Generally, first or second-degree who are a suitable match may be able to use your baby’s cord blood stem cells. Siblings are the most likely to be compatible matches, with 25% of these cases offering a perfect match. Parents will always be a partial match to their biological children. More extended family members like grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are less likely to be an immune compatible but still have the potential to be a partial match.

Ultimately, who in the family may possibly use your child’s cord blood stem cells can depend on a number of variables, including but not limited to:

  • The patient’s condition
  • If it is a current treatment (transplant medicine) or experimental use (regenerative medicine)
  • How closely HLA matched the patient is to the child with preserved cord blood
  • How closely related the patient is to the child with preserved cord blood

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 may be the best choice.

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. To date, there have been over 500 clinical trials researching uses for newborn stem cells including studies for cerebral palsy, autism, juvenile diabetes, and sensorineural hearing loss.138

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.

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 217.41

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.

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.
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.

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 stem cells from a closely related family member instead of an unrelated donors can have significant advantages, including fewer complications and improved medical outcomes114
  • 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.

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.
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.

You have 3 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 bank or donate, your baby’s cord blood is discarded at the hospital.

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. Many units donated to public banks are never accepted due to strict criteria regarding maternal and family 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

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.

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.
  • Many units donated to public banks are never accepted due to strict criteria regarding maternal and family medical history, collection volume and examination of the maternal blood sample
  • If families decide too late, they may be denied access to donating.
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.
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.
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.
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.

We’re thinking about the long game when we store your baby’s umbilical cord tissue. For starters, we preserve the cord as whole segments to help safeguard all the cell types, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

Why is this important? Research is still in early stages for cord tissue, and we want your family to have access to all the cells in the cord, and to the best available future technologies, as research advances. By preserving cord tissue whole, we can help ensure you have the most options science has to offer in the future.140

We’ve developed an innovative process called ActivCord™ to test the metabolic activity of the cells in the cord tissue. Cord tissue samples stored after April 1, 2019, will receive this test. As part of our official Quality Standard, we will let families know if their sample meets our quality threshold.

ActivCord™ is our innovative process for measuring the metabolic activity of your baby’s cord tissue, which will indicate whether or not the sample meets our threshold for health and viability when it arrives at our lab.123

The active ingredient of the ActivCord test is a blue compound. When metabolically-active cells interact with the compound, a chemical reaction converts the blue to pink. Since only viable cells convert the compound, the amount of shift from blue to pink indicates the cells’ viability, and thus the overall health of the tissue.

No. We have confirmed that MSCs can be consistently and reliably isolated from segmented umbilical cord tissue that has been prepared and cryopreserved using our validated process.125
There are no uses of cord tissue stem cells at this time. But in the future, when relevant clinical applications are developed, we'll be here to support our clients every step of the way.

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 diseases and disorders.106 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.

CBR has more experience providing cord blood for use in treatment than any other family bank. To date, we have released more than 600 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.138

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.106 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.

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).
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.

Florida Hospital for Children and 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.

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 CBR 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.”

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 CBR, 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 CBR, 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.”

For more information on 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.

The trial will enroll 10 children who have their umbilical cord blood banked with CBR, 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 CBR 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 CBR 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.

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, most FDA-regulated clinical trials require the use of a child’s own newborn stem cells or those from a matched sibling donor.36 Several of our past clinical trials were only available to children who have their own stem cells banked with CBR
The inclusion criteria for each trial are different. When medical researchers conduct a trial, they recruit participants with appropriate health problems and medical histories, based on what they are hoping to study. You might be eligible for one trial and not others. CBR has clinical specialists that can help match you with potential research studies and determine if participating in research is right for you. Additionally, all CBR clients have access to the Family Health Registry. This is the best way of letting CBR know what health conditions are of concern to you and your family. That way, we can be proactive and notify you of any new clinical trials that might be of interest.

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 in. 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 treatment.” In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. may benefit from a regenerative therapy in their lifetime.

References:

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

Click here to view CBR’s pricing options for saving your newborn’s cord blood and/or cord tissue stem cells.
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 $15/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 $49 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.

CBR has special pricing available in the event of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.). Click here and select the number of children you're expecting to view our multiple births pricing.
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.
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.
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 in your child’s best interests to not save these stem cells anymore. In such cases, 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.
may adjust storage rates in order to maintain our high standards and continue helping to discover new, innovative ways newborn stem cells might be used in the future, which provides more long-term value to our families.
Click here to learn about pricing.

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 CBR 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 CBR collection kit while en 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 CBR 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.

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.

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. CBR has facilitated the release of a cord blood unit for our families hundreds of times, and it typically occurs by the following steps:

  1. We will connect you with one of CBR’s clinical specialists, who will help assess your specific case and get the process started.
  2. If you have not already, we recommend that you contact the treating physician that would likely be performing the anticipated transplant or cord blood infusion.
  3. Eventually, you will be connected with CBR’s dedicated team whose job is to work with your treating physician and the treating medical facility to carefully prepare and safely release your cord blood unit.
  4. When ready for release, cord blood units are shipped from CBR to treatment facilities in a dry shipper—essentially a mini-Dewar—which keeps the units at liquid nitrogen temperature while in transit.

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

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 8:00 pm PT

Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 am to 4:00 pm PT

We will ship your CBR collection kit immediately after your enrollment is complete.

Enroll in CBR’s cord banking services

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.

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, we can overnight a CBR collection kit to you if your due date is near.

Enroll in CBR’s cord banking services

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 Newborn Stem Cell Educator at 1.877.CORD.BLOOD.
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.

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

The outbreak of COVID-19 does not impact your ability to collect or store newborn stem cells with CBR.

CBR recognizes that banking your child’s newborn stem cells is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our laboratories remain fully operational as we are committed to offering uninterrupted services for your family throughout this time. At this time there are no disruptions to the ability of our medical courier to pick up CBR collection kits after birth. Our Client Services team is available to help you if you have any concerns at 1.888.932.6568.

We are closely monitoring and following AATB (American Association of Tissue Banks), CDC, and WHO (World Health Organization) best practice recommendations across our laboratories and offices to mitigate risks associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Cord blood and cord tissue samples that have already been cryopreserved are not impacted by the current novel coronavirus or its resulting disease, COVID-19.

Samples in storage are safe from contamination. When we designed our systems, we included two safeguards to avoid cross-contamination of cord blood samples. First, each sample is processed individually in a closed system and hermetically sealed in a plastic overwrap before it is preserved. We also preserve units in vapor-phase liquid nitrogen, preventing any potential transfer of contaminants that might occur in liquid storage.1

Providing peace of mind that your samples are safely stored has always been our highest priority. As part of our standard operating procedures, we have many safety and security measures in place to help ensure the long-term protection of your stored samples. Our laboratory and storage facility located in Tucson, Arizona has multiple safeguards in place to ensure stability including two 9,000 gallon backup tanks of liquid nitrogen and a 750 kW backup diesel generator that can power necessary systems in the event of a power failure. Additionally, our systems perform more than 500,000 equipment checks and over 80,000 environmental and sample sterility tests per year.138

Samples in storage are safe from contamination. When we designed our systems, we included two safeguards to avoid cross-contamination of cord blood samples. First, each sample is processed individually in a closed system and hermetically sealed in a plastic overwrap before it is preserved. We also preserve units in vapor-phase liquid nitrogen, preventing any potential transfer of contaminants that might occur in liquid storage.

While this situation is quickly evolving, we want to assure you that CBR is doing everything possible to maintain business as usual for our clients. If you have further questions about your stored sample(s), please call our Client Services team at 1.888.932.6568.

Yes. With nearly 30 years in business and nearly 1 million stored samples, as the industry leader our business is poised to move through this crisis. Our financial stability ensures continuous operations in the laboratory, storage facility, and our call centers.

Also, at this time, there are no disruptions in our medical couriers’ ability to pick up CBR collection kits after birth. We are here to support your future and your investment in your family’s future health.

We understand that many people are dealing with a sudden transition in their work and home lives. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, and you have an annual storage invoice due, please contact Client Services at 1.888.932.6568. We are here to work with you.

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.

CBR uses AXP® II 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.

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

TNC and MNC cell recovery rate by processing method

Additional resources comparing cord blood processing methods:

AXP® II processing

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® II processing 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.

Product featureBenefits 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
CBR has processed and stored more than 925,000 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.
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.
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.

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 cryopreservatives 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.

Learn more about delayed cord clamping here

Your baby’s cord blood will be stored at CBR’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 Registrations, 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.

Have more questions?

Our Newborn Stem Cell Educators would love to help!

888.932.6568
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