Popular Questions

  • 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. 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • What are my options for saving my babys 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.

  • 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. 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.


    • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Does COVID-19 impact my ability to bank?

    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 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).

  • Is my stored sample safe from 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.

    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.

    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.

  • Given the COVID-19 crisis, is CBR financially stable?

    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 collection kits after birth. We are here to support your future and your investment in your family’s future health.

  • COVID-19: Financial hardships and storage payments. What should we do?

    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.

  • Why has CBR partnered with NantKwest for a COVID-19 treatment?

    We're proud to partner with NantKwest, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, in developing a COVID-19 treatment using newborn stem cells. CBR is the first private newborn stem cell bank to participate in an FDA-approved clinical trial using cord tissue cells to combat COVID-19 related lung damage.

    Why are we using cord tissue stem cells? Because they have been successfully used in many clinical trials for the treatment of lung conditions, even before the emergence of COVID-19.

    Since newborn stem cells can help regulate inflammation and stimulate tissue repair, they're becoming relevant for treating respiratory symptoms from acute lung injury, including damage from severe COVID-19.

  • What does this partnership mean for CBR client families?

    We hope that this research will pave the way for future options, and CBR is prepared to work with our families who enroll in any FDA-approved clinical trial or compassionate use protocols where their newborn stem cells may be part of treating COVID-19 and associated complications.

    We appreciate the willingness and generosity of our client families; however, this research is not an opportunity for clients to use their stored cord tissue. We are not accepting planned cord tissue donations at this time.