Benefits of saving cord blood
Here are some of the many reasons why you should store your baby’s cord blood stem cells.
A guaranteed match for autologous transplants.
Autologous stem cell transplants are transplants in which the same person is both the donor and the recipient of the stem cells. The cord blood you are saving for your baby now could be used as a medical resource in the future. Unlike traditional bone marrow stem cell transplants, cord blood does not need to be a perfect match. Every year, 40–60% of patients in Singapore who need a stem cell transplant can't find a good match in public cord blood banks or among bone marrow donors.1 The odds of finding a match within the same racial group are only 1 in 20,000.2
A readily available supply of stored Haematopoietic Stem Cells.
In the event that stem cells are needed for a transplant in an already time-critical situation, having your child’s cord blood stored compares favourably to having to conduct a costly and time-consuming national or international search. Procuring a cord blood sample can cost up to $90,000 in Singapore, assuming a match is found.3
Lower risk of Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD) in autologous transplants.
When using stem cells from cord blood, the risk of Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD) is lower for autologous transplants, where the donor and recipient are the same person, as compared to transplants from unrelated donors.
GvHD is a condition where the transplanted tissue cells (the graft) see the patient’s own tissue (the host) as foreign and attacks them.
Up to 75% chance of matching genetically between siblings.4
Umbilical cord blood from a sibling offers a lifetime of protection for the family as the stored cord blood offers a higher potential for genetic matches. Many families have benefited from using sibling stem cells for treatment.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are younger and more primitive.
Umbilical cord stem cells can grow healthy blood cells faster than other types of stem cells obtained from other sources, such as bone marrow and peripheral blood.5,6 They are also more tolerant to HLA* mismatches.7
*Human leukocyte antigens, or HLAs, are proteins that help the immune system tell the difference between the body's own cells and foreign substances that could be harmful.
Cord blood collection is safe and painless for both mother and baby.
Cord blood collection is a simple task that is taken care of by your own OBGYN. The process of cord blood collection does not affect the birthing process in any way and can be done for both natural and C-section births.
1 Treatment with cord blood page. Singapore Cord Blood Bank website. https://www.scbb.com.sg/cordblood/pages/treatment-with-cord-blood.aspx. Accessed July 23, 2021.
2 Yuen S. Wanted: More bone marrow donors from minority races. The Straits Times. September 18, 2016:13.
3 Criterion for new stem-cell transplant 50 per cent match. AsiaOne website. https://www.asiaone.com/health/criterion-new-stemcell-transplant-50-cent-match. Accessed July 23, 2021.
4 Jawdat D, Saleh S, Sutton P, Anazi H, Shubaili A, Tamim H, et al. Chances of Finding an HLA-Matched Sibling: The Saudi Experience. ScienceDirect. 2009;15(10): 1342-1334.
5 Bordeaux-Rego P, Luzo A, Costa FF, et al. Both interleukin-3 and interleukin-6 are necessary for better ex vivo expansion of CD133+ cells from umbilical cord blood. Stem Cells Dev. 2010;19(3):413–422.
6 Kadereit S, Deeds LS, Haynesworth SE, et al. Expansion of LTC-ICs and maintenance of p21 and BCL-2 expression in cord blood CD34+/CD38− early progenitors cultured over human MSCs as a feeder layer. Stem Cells. 2002;20(6):573–582.
7 Beksac M (2016) Is There Any Reason to Prefer Cord Blood Instead of Adult Donors for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants? Front. Med. 2:95. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2015.00095 .
DCR No. 4781, Version C, December 2022