What are the advantages of cord blood?

Cord blood offers a number of advantages to donors and transplant recipients. It is easy to collect, often more likely to provide a suitable match and is stored frozen, ready to use.

1. Cord blood collection is easy and poses no medical risk to the mother or newborn baby.

Cord blood collection is a safe, simple procedure. Royan Stem Cell Technology &Cord Blood Program staff collects cord blood from the delivered placenta, in a way that does not interfere with the care of the mother or newborn baby. Collection, therefore, poses no risk to mother or baby.

2. Cord blood is collected in advance, tested and stored frozen, ready to use.

Cord blood is donated in advance for anyone who might need it in the future. All routine testing is completed and the unit is stored frozen, ready to use. If a match is found, it can be reserved immediately. Confirmatory HLA typing and any special testing required is usually completed within 5 days.

3. Cord blood transplants do not require a perfect match.

Studies have shown that cord blood transplants can be performed in cases that the donor and the recipient are partially matched. In contrast, bone marrow grafts require 8/8 matching in most cases.Because partially matched cord blood transplants can be performed, cord blood increases the patient’s chance to find a suitable donor. With cord blood, a relatively small donor pool can effectively support most patients' needs.

4. Cord blood transplants are associated with lower incidence of GvHD.

The immune cells in cord blood seem to be less likely than those in bone marrow from unrelated donors to attack the patient's own tissues (graft vs. host disease).

5. Cord Blood Transplants are associated with lower risk of viral infections.

Cord blood is also less likely to transmit certain common viruses, like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), potentially lethal infections for transplant recipients. CMV is carried as a latent virus by about half of the adult population, whereas less than 1 percent of infants are born with CMV.