November 5, 2009

Cord Blood Cell Banking

Few of our friends have opted to preserve the Cord Blood Cell (CBC) of their babies and this thing has always been on the back of my mind. I spent some time looking up information about CBC banking... mainly, the pros and cons, realistic future usage and the cost associated with it. Below is some of the information I gathered...

This is a comprehensive website about most of the information available on the internet... has references to CBC banking world wide:
Parents Guide Cord Blood.

Motivation for banking Cord Blood Cell (CBC).

CBC info on

Facts (pros and cons) (mostly
-Cord blood Cells may be used to treat nearly 80 serious diseases (as of now... probably many more treatments possible in the next several years).
-The odds that a child will use his/her own CBC are anywhere between 1 in 27 to 1 in 200,000 (depending upon the source you look at).
-According to the National Marrow Donor Program, properly stored CBC should be good for up to 10-15 years, after that point, the researchers aren't sure how long the cells will last (NOTE: Some banks give you an option to pay straight up for 25 years storage for a discounted price - may be that is not a very wise step).
-Cells from CBC are less mature than a bone marrow, so there are less chances of the cells being rejected during a transplant.
-Saving CBC is painless as compared to a bone marrow donation (plus you have to find a matching donor).
-It is not always possible to use ones own CBC (depending upon the disease), if it can be used for a sibling, there are still just 25% chances that the CBC will be a match.
-CBC's are generally used only for children (as of now), since they are not known to be enough for treatment in adults.
-There is a lot of research going on in this field, and in the future techniques (besides CBC) using embryonic stem cells or stem cells derived from adult tissues might be the way to go!

Here is a table of private bank features and pricing of banks in the US (as of Oct 2009... other countries listed too). As per the list and general listing on the internet, Cord Blood Registry, Cryobank International, Cryo-Cell International and Viacord seem to be some of the older banks (early-mid 1990's), registered with the FDA (AABB accreditation) and reasonably priced.


Some more reference articles:

How CBC is collected -

Donating vs privately banking CBC

Article against CBC banking by
American Academy of Pediatrics.

Information about
donating CBC


Most of the people we have spoken to emphasize on (things to look for) reliability of the bank (longer they have been in the business, more likely that they have their act together and probably will survive in the future), price (in our case - twin discount?), location (stable - away from natural and/or man made calamities), management and correspondence.

This is a very controversial subject and I am not trying to make an argument here, but with IVF treatment, some IFs have frozen embryos. So, I also tried to look for the benefits of preserving embryonic cells (embryos from IVF) "
versus" CBC, and there is not much information available. But from general reading it occurs to me that... there has been a lot more research done with CBC and there have been several successful CBC transfers in real life... so even if embryonic cells might become prominent in the future (beyond all the ethical controversies), currently they are not very distinctly used. Hence, there aren't any specific storage facilities for embryonic cells like CBC, other than the fertility clinic storage (which is super expensive).

To me the bottom line is... if I am willing to spend $2,000 on a vacation or go buy some new furniture for my house (materialistic things)... I can also spend the same amount to save the CBC! It may or may not come to use, but you know it is there and it may save a life!

NOTE: All the information I have gathered is just by surfing the web, there is probably a lot more information out there (which I am sure I have missed). Finally, saving (or not saving) CBC is a personal choice! If any body else has any more information about CBC or would like to share their personal experience, please leave me a comment!


  1. I have also heard of public banks being available in some major cities. You wouldn't be guaranteed access to your own cord blood cells but to know it may help someone is great and you would definitely have access to any possible matches in that bank as a result of donating...I think.

    We didn't bank any of Bug's cord blood but I would certainly consider public banking for baby number 2 if we get that far.


    This is a link to info about public vs. private banking. Just for info purposes.

  3. I too was going to mention the possibility of public banking/donating - worth looking in to.

    H and I are currently trying to decide what to do - do we let the cord stop pulsating (ensuring our bubs gets the goodness when he might need it), donate or spend the crazy fees to rent space in a freezer for 18 years just in case. There's so much info out there and so much of it conflicting, I've still got no idea what to do.

  4. I just dropped by to say I gave you a blog award today :) Hope you and the bubs are doing well.

  5. I know you've been helping out with cyclesista. Today my internet says it doesn't exist. Do you know what's up?