Senate Health Committee has approved a bill to establish a statewide public umbilical blood collection program to promote the life-saving potential of stem cells derived from the cord blood.

Like bone marrow, cord blood can be used to treat various genetic disorders that affect the blood and immune system, leukemia and certain cancers, and other inherited disorders.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, many people who are expecting a bone marrow transplantation die because of being unable to find suitable matches. Cord blood transplantation can solve this problem as donee do not need to match cord blood.

“Stem cells from cord blood can cure hundreds of blood-related diseases, the procedure to collect it is free from any bioethical debate, yet cord blood is routinely thrown away because we lack the infrastructure to make it available to those who need it. Of the 500,000 births in California, we collect umbilical cord blood from a mere 3% of those births. We can do better.” said local Assemblyman Anthony Portantino who has written the bill.

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