More than 35,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in United States, for which a bone marrow or peripheral blood cell transplant is required.
A growing, alternative source is available through cord blood banks, which collect stem cells from donated umbilical cord blood.

Cord Blood is collected by a syringe in a bag minute after the baby is born, and the blood is then processed (undergoes centrifugation and the RBCs are removed), and sent for preservation in Freezers.
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Potential advantages of cord blood stem cell transplantation over marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplants include:

  • Larger potential donor pool
  • Rapid availability, since the cord blood has been prescreened, tested, frozen, and is ready to use
  • No donor attrition, since the cord blood stem cells are already stored
  • Potential for greater racial diversity and balance in the donor pool by focusing collection efforts on hospitals where births of children from diverse ethnic backgrounds are well-represented
  • No risk or discomfort for the donor
  • Rare contamination by viruses, and
  • Lower risk of graft-versus-host disease or GVHD (a condition that occurs when donor cells attack the recipient’s organs and tissues), allowing for transplants with less-than-perfect HLA match.