Cord blood is the blood remaining in a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta immediately after the baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut.
Your baby’s cord blood contains a wide range of important cells, including stem cells. Cord blood is a particularly rich source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which have the ability to create and heal our organs, blood and the immune system. Because of their “youth”, stem cells from umbilical cord blood are pristine and among the most flexible and potent in the body.
Worldwide, cord blood has been used in over 40,00042 transplants in the treatment of over 80 conditions43. In Australasia, over 500 cord blood units have been released from private and public banks to treat many conditions here and abroad33.
In a growing number of advanced clinical trials, scientific research is evaluating how cord blood cells may provide new therapies for a broad array of conditions.
The probability of using stored cord blood is difficult to predict. Many factors impact the likelihood of use including the prevalence of disease, treatment options available, age and therapies that may be approved in the future.
It is important to note that estimates of use may vary considerably for these reasons. Today, based on currently approved therapies and ignoring the trials and research being undertaken, the chance of a child requiring stem cell therapy is 1 in 3,0002.