It’s often hard to know what to ask when choosing a cord blood bank. There is a lot of information to think about, making sorting out the choices confusing.
We want to make things simple. Cord blood stem cells don’t regenerate, meaning there is only a limited amount available for future use. Therefore, recovering the maximum number of stem cells is the highest priority. It’s also important that the stem cells are safe for transplant and that they will be available for as long as you may need them.
Some banks entice you with claims based on their record stem cell yield. Your individual results depend on two things: the amount of cord blood collected and the amount of stem cells recovered from it.
Since the volume of blood is determined in the delivery room, the question to answer is “Which cord blood bank can get the most stem cells out of my cord blood collection volume?”
The processing method makes all the difference in the number of stem cells recovered. Simply put, to get the most stem cells from any cord blood collection, choose the bank with the best processing method.
When it’s time for a transplant, your stem cells must be as free from contaminants as possible. The biggest worry is red blood cells.
The fewer the red blood cells, the safer the transplant. Red blood cells tend not to survive the freezing and thawing process. Their cell membranes rupture, spilling the contents, which include the hemoglobin and empty membrane sacks called red cell “ghosts”. This debris can make patients sick following transplant.
In terms of transplant safety, the cryo-preservative is also something to think about. Chemicals that protect stem cells during freezing can lead to adverse reactions following transplant. We use a cyro-preservative that is less toxic, so that the patient’s body can fight the disease, not the cure.
You’re banking stem cells for the future, so you’ll want to be confident you’ve got the best team behind you.
Look for a company that has invested in the business, has a history in the cord blood industry, and is experienced in testing, processing, and storing cord blood stem cells.
Unlike marketing companies who don’t own a lab, we’re a full-service cord blood bank that supports you from collection through transplant.