How is cord blood used today?

Today, cord blood stems cells are used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases, including a wide range of cancers, genetic diseases, and blood disorders.2 In a cord blood transplant, stem cells are infused in to a patient’s bloodstream where they go to work healing and repairing damaged cells and tissue. When a transplant is successful, a healthy new immune system has been created.

There is often confusion over who can use cord blood stem cells in treatment — the baby they were collected from or a sibling? The short answer is both, but it very much depends on the condition being treated. And it's ultimately the treating physician's decision.

For your baby (autologous use)

When you bank your child’s cord blood with ViaCord, your child immediately becomes eligible for autologous treatments. Generally speaking, treatments for cancers like neuroblastoma are autologous. Also, phase II clinical trials for cerebral palsy and type 1 diabetes require one’s own cord blood to participate. To date, 40% of ViaCord units released for medical treatments and clinical trials have been used by the children from whom they were collected.13

For a sibling (allogeneic use)

Most of the diseases on the proven treatment list are inherited genetic diseases. Typically, these treatments require a donor transplant, as from a sibling. If your child needs a donor, a family member is always the first-choice source. In fact, research shows that treatments using cord blood from a family member are about twice as successful as treatments using cord blood from a non-relative.9a,17 To date, 60% of ViaCord units released have been used by siblings of the children from whom they were collected.13

Increasing the odds

By banking all of your childrens’ cord blood with ViaCord, your family will have an easily accessible source of stem cells for potential therapeutic use. Stem cell transplant statistics published by NMDP show a two-to-one ratio of allogeneic to autologous transplants for patients under the age of 20. 

Cord Blood Stem Cells: Current Uses

Cord blood stem cells can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases listed below. This doesn’t mean they will be used and using them doesn’t guarantee success. Each case is unique and only a doctor can determine eligibility. To learn more about actual use, check out our Family Stories.  

Cancers
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) 
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) 
  • Burkitt's lymphoma 
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) 
  • Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) 
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma 
  • Lymphomatoid granulomatosis 
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) 
  • Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)
Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes
  • Amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia 
  • Autoimmune neutropenia (severe) 
  • Congenital dyserythropoietic anemia 
  • Cyclic neutropenia 
  • Diamond-Blackfan anemia 
  • Evan's syndrome 
  • Fanconi anemia 
  • Glanzmann's disease 
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis 
  • Kostmann's syndrome 
  • Red cell aplasia 
  • Shwachman syndrome 
  • Severe aplastic anemia 
  • Congenital sideroblastic anemia 
  • Thrombocytopenia with absent radius (TAR syndrome) 
  • Dyskeratosis congenita
Blood Disorders
  • Sickle-cell anemia (hemoglobin SS) 
  • HbSC disease 
  • Sickle βo Thalassemia 
  • α-thalassemia major (hydrops fetalis) 
  • β-thalassemia major (Cooley's anemia) 
  • β-thalassemia intermedia 
  • E-βo thalassemia 
  • E-β+ thalassemia
Metabolic Disorders
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy Gaucher's disease (infantile) 
  • Metachromatic leukodystrophy 
  • Krabbe disease (globoid cell leukodystrophy) 
  • Gunther disease 
  • Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 
  • Hurler syndrome 
  • Hurler-Scheie syndrome 
  • Hunter syndrome 
  • Sanfilippo syndrome 
  • Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome 
  • Mucolipidosis Type II, III 
  • Alpha mannosidosis 
  • Niemann Pick Syndrome, type A and B 
  • Sandhoff Syndrome 
  • Tay-Sachs Disease 
  • Lesch-Nyhan disease
Immunodeficiencies
  • Ataxia telangiectasia 
  • Chronic granulomatous disease 
  • DiGeorge syndrome 
  • IKK gamma deficiency 
  • Immune dysregulation polyendocrineopathy 
  • X-linked Mucolipidosis, Type II 
  • Myelokathexis X-linked immunodeficiency 
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency 
  • Adenosine deaminase deficiency 
  • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome 
  • X-linked agammaglobulinemia 
  • X-linked lymphoproliferative disease 
  • Omenn's syndrome 
  • Reticular dysplasia 
  • Thymic dysplasia 
  • Leukocyte adhesion deficiency
Other
  • Osteopetrosis 
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis 
  • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis