Cord blood is the blood remaining in the placenta and umbilical cord, typically discarded after a baby is delivered. This blood is an extremely rich source of the body’s master cells - the building blocks of our blood and immune system, the “stem cells”. In addition, recent evidence has shown that these cord blood stem cells have the potential to develop into all of the body's various cell types, such a those in the brain, spinal cord, heart, kidney and liver. Therefore, they could potentially replace critical cells in tissues all over the body that have been destroyed or damaged by disease.
If your child, or possibly someone in your family develops a life-threatening illness or debilitating disease, a transplant from cord-blood-derived cells could save their life or greatly reduce the symptoms and effects of their illness.
Unlike the use of embryo-derived cells, cord blood collection and storage is not controversial or ethically charged in any way, because these cells are generally discarded, and do not compromise potential human life.
Cord blood-derived stem cells have been successfully used on thousands of patients to treat numerous conditions and diseases and there is exciting new research on many additional conditions that it could be used for in the near future.