Preparing for a new baby to arrive means that you are constantly making decisions to ensure her health and safety. You research the safest cribs and strollers, debate how long to breastfeed, and buy safety covers for your electrical outlets and the corners of tables and other furniture. You make sure to take your recommended vitamins and see your OB/GYN regularly for prenatal care. You’ve even arranged for your baby’s cord blood to be stored or future health treatments.
Then you hear about cord tissue banking. What’s that? Is it important for your baby’s health? Do you really need to do it?
The following Q&A can help you decide if cord lining stem cell storage is the right decision to protect the health of your baby and blood-related family members:
Q. Why should I store my baby’s umbilical cord tissue?
A. Your baby’s umbilical cord lining is the human body’s single richest and purest source of stem cells — the undifferentiated, basic, “blank slate” cells that can be prompted to become many other types of cells. There are two types of cord tissue stem cells, each of which can be differentiated into myriad other cells:
Epithelial cells, which can become skin, heart, neural, corneal, mucosal, liver, islet, and other soft organ cells.
Mesenchymal cells, which can become bone, cartilage, muscle, heart, and fat cells.
If you don’t store your baby’s umbilical cord, these precious, potentially life-saving stem cells will be discarded as medical waste and lost forever.
Q. Can’t I get stem cells from my own bone marrow or other tissues if my baby or another relative needs them?
A. Adult bone marrow yields only 2 million stem cells, but just 330 cm2 of an umbilical cord lining yields 6 billion stem cells. Cord lining stem cells are also obtained non-invasively and are easy to process.
Because they are young, cord tissue stem cells are much more vigorous than those found in adult tissue. They can divide up to 30 times without degrading, which means that those 6 billion cells can easily become 180 billion cells.
Cord lining stem cells also express HLA-E and HLA-G — immunomodulators that make the cells resistant to rejection. That means — unlike cord blood — cord lining stem cells don’t have to be HLA matched for transplantation.
Q. What diseases can cord tissue help treat?
A. Because mesenchymal and epithelial stem cells can be morphed into just about any type of cell in the human body, the potential for future treatments is virtually limitless.
Right now, CellResearch Corporation — GlobalCord’s parent company — has research partners around the world working on groundbreaking cord lining stem cell therapies for:
Ocular surface disorders
Bone repair and replacement
Cartilage repair and replacement
Hearing and balance disorders
Q. Who benefits from the preserved cord tissue?
A. Your baby, his siblings, you, your spouse, your parents, in-laws, and potentially many other blood relatives could all benefit from stem cell therapies derived from your baby’s cord tissue. Because the stem cells are HLA expressors, no HLA matching is necessary.
If anyone in your family has a serious or life-threatening illness, suffers severe wounds or burns, or develops a chronic condition, the banked tissue could help restore their health or even save their life.
Q. Will my baby be hurt when the umbilical cord is banked?
A. Cutting off the unneeded umbilical cord is a standard part of the birthing process, with or without cord banking. If you don’t bank your baby’s umbilical cord, it will be discarded as medical waste.
Banking the cord poses no danger to either the mother or the baby, and will not interfere with your birth plans, whether vaginal or cesarean.
Q. How long will the cord tissue stem cells be available to my family?
A. If you opt for stem cell storage with GlobalCord, your baby’s stem cells will last indefinitely. That means your baby might choose to use them when he’s a father or grandfather himself. GlobalCord’s unique quality control and cryopreservation protocols ensure that your umbilical cord lining stem cells are ready when you need them.
Q. Can’t I just save money by banking my baby’s cord publicly?
A. Nine out of ten publicly stored cords are discarded. If you need your baby’s cord in the future, it may not be available. It also costs about $40,000 to retrieve the cord stem cells, if they are needed.
Q. What is the process of storing the cord tissue with GlobalCord?
A. If you’ve arranged to bank your baby’s cord tissue with GlobalCord, a sterile Collection Kit and instructions will be provided to your caregiver. After your baby is delivered, his umbilical cord is clamped and cut as per every birth. The staff then draws blood from the umbilical cord and places it in an FDA-approved sterile bag. A 4” to 8” segment of the cord is cleaned and cut to place in a container for transport to the laboratory.
The Collection Kit should be kept at room temperature. A medical courier will pick up your collection kit from your hospital room and deliver it to GlobalCord within 24 to 48 hours, where our staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to process, test, separate, and cryogenically store your baby's stem cells.
Why Choose GlobalCord?
Make an informed choice. Select a cord banking service that is licensed to offer complete coverage for all stem cell therapies derived from your stored cord.
Umbilical cord lining tissue banked by non-licensed cord blood banks may not provide the stem cell yield or quality that CellResearch Corporation’s proprietary and patented protocols can provide — this may affect its suitability for future therapeutic use. In addition, these blood banks and medical institutions that offer CellResearch Corporation's patented protocols — which include ALL cord lining stem cell therapies — are at risk of patent infringement.
GlobalCord is operated by CellResearch Corporation and its partners. Cords banked through GlobalCord are covered by CellResearch Corporation’s patent licensure which extends to 41 territories around the world, including the U.S.A.