About Cord Blood

What is cord blood?

Cord blood, also called 'placental blood', is blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth and after the umbilical cord is cut. Cord blood is normally discarded with the placenta and umbilical cord.

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord functions as a lifeline between mother and child. The cord blood presents in the cord could offer hope for the child or members of the family. The umbilical cord blood is a rich source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), a proven resource for treatment of certain diseases. Cord blood collection procedure is painless and risk-free to both mother and baby. It takes about 3 minutes and does not alter the birthing process in any way.

Cordlife offers the service of cord blood banking for parents who wish to store their baby's cord blood stem cells now to capitalize on potential medical uses later.

Cord blood is a rich source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are primarily responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system.

Cord blood stem cell transplants are used in the following ways:

  • Replace and regenerate damaged or diseased bone marrow
  • Treatment for blood cancers
  • Correct genetic defects (sibling/allogeneic transplantation)
  • Potential for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine
The Cord Blood Cells have the unique ability to differentiate into various cell types found in blood as depicted in the diagram below:
Red Blood

Carry oxygen to all cells in the body

White Blood

Fight infection

Platelets

Assist blood clotting in the event of injury

Related items

  • Why Bank Umbilical Cord Lining Why Bank Umbilical Cord Lining
    Complete health protection for your child and family

    When you bank the umbilical cord lining, you are banking the stem cells found in it. The patented technology available at Cordlife allows the isolation of EpSCs and MSCs from the umbilical cord lining. In contrast, when you bank cord blood, you are banking stem cells found in it which are mostly hematopoietic (or blood forming) stem cells.

    Storing both cord blood and umbilical cord lining will allow maximum recovery of all types of stem cells, thus increasing one’s options for possible therapeutic applications in the future. The patented technology provided by Cordlife allows isolation and expansion of EpSCs and MSCs, two types of stem cells found in the umbilical cord lining but not present in cord blood.

    By storing a combination of HSCs, MSCs and EpSCs, you are availing your child to be part of a medical revolution with the access to the growing applications of stem cells and the therapeutic potential that they hold. These cells, being able to be collected at birth only, are the youngest and most potent cells available.

    Here are 8 top reasons why you should consider cord lining banking for your baby:
    1. Cord lining stem cells have immune-modulating characteristics. Therefore matching of stem cells between donor and the patient may not be required, which makes them useful both for your baby and other members in the family;
    2. With cord lining stem cells, your baby and family members will have more treatment options in the future, especially for disorders* that are incurable today such as stroke and heart attack;
    3. Cord lining stem cells can help to increase the success rate of a cord blood transplant;
    4. Cord lining contains two types of powerful stem cells as opposed to one type from Wharton’s Jelly, another part of the umbilical cord;
    5. When you store cord lining for your baby and family, you are storing the original source of stem cells, which can be used to support multiple medical treatments whenever needed;
    6. Compared to other sources such as bone marrow and adipose tissue , stem cells from cord lining are younger with better expansion capacity and patients receiving such stem cells have lower risk of graft versus host disease;
    7. Using cryogenic storage method, cord lining can remain viable for a long time. This means that the therapeutic value of cord lining stem cells are well-preserved until the need for treatment arises;
    8. Your baby only has one chance in a lifetime to have his/her cord lining collected as this painless and harmless process must be done at birth.

    Potential therapy with cord lining stem cells

    MSCs and EpSCs are currently being evaluated in more than 300 clinical trials for the treatment of medical conditions including heart disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, cornea repair as well as wound healing such as burns and diabetic ulcers. The table outlines some of the potential applications with MSCs and EpSCs. As clinical research continues to take place globally, this list will continue to grow with time.

    Cordlife's Exclusive: Epithelial stem cells (EpSCs)
    Disorders investigated in MSC Clinical Trials Disorders investigated in EpSC Clinical Trials
    • Tissue repair
      • Stroke
      • Heart failure
      • Alzheimer’s disease
      • Parkinson’s disease
      • Spinal cord injury 
      • Orthopaedic indications (bone, cartilage, tendon repair)
      • Liver failure
    • Immune modulation or reconstitution
      • HIV
      • Type 1 diabetes
      • Graft versus host disease (GvHD)
    • HSCs engraftment support
      • Shorten time of engraftment
        Reduce immune system complications
    • Soft tissue repair
      • Skin wounds
      • Ocular surface disorders
      • Persistent epithelial defect
      • Replacement of insulin-producing cells for diabetic patients
      • Haemophilia


    Sources:
    World Health Organisation (Online), last accessed 1 August 2011
    Shukla, et. al. 2010. Emerging Trends in Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management in India, The Int’l Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds, 9(3) 111-2
  • Advantages of Cord Blood Banking Advantages of Cord Blood Banking
    The true potential of cord blood stem cells is only now being realised. Since 2000, scientists have shown that umbilical cord blood stem cells can give rise to many other types of cells in the body.

    These amazing discoveries have started to lead to clinical applications in a wide range of diseases, including heart attacks and spinal cord injuries, and in the next few years we expect to see clinical trials in diseases ranging from cystic fibrosis to Alzheimers disease and diabetes.

    Advantages of storing cord blood stem cells

    • A guaranteed match for autologous transplants (where the donor and recipient are the same individual).

      Autologous stem cell transplants refer to transplants where the donor and recipient of the stem cells is the same individual. The cord blood that you are storing for your baby today is a potential medical resource for the future, and does not require stringent matching as opposed to conventional bone marrow stem cell transplants. About 70% of patients who need a transplant are unable to find a suitable match within the family1.
    • A Readily Available Supply of Stored Haematopoietic Stem Cells

      In the course of an already time critical situation where stem cells are required in a transplant, having your child’s cord blood stored compares well to having to do a national or international search which is both costly and time-consuming. The cost of procuring a cord blood sample in Singapore can cost up to $75,000, and that is, if a match is found.
    • Lower risk of Graft vs. Host Disease (GvHD) for autologous transplants

      Graft vs. Host Disease refers to a common complication where the transplanted tissue attacks the patient’s own tissue. This disease will usually occur in transplants when the donor and recipient are different.
    • Ease of collection, which is pain-free and risk-free to both mother and child.

      Cord blood collection is a relatively easy task, which is handled by your own delivering doctor (OBGYN). This process does not affect the birthing process in any way and can be done on both natural and c-section births.
    • Umbilical cord blood stem cells are younger and more primitive

      In comparison to other types of stem cells, e.g bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells, there is a notably higher rate of engraftment. This means the cells are faster in growing and making healthy blood stem cells and are more tolerant to tissue mismatches.
    • 1 in 217 chances of using stem cells for treatment in a lifetime

      Statistics have shown that 1 in every 217 persons may need stem cells for treatment in their lifetime2. Your baby’s cord blood contains a rich source of such stem cells. Since 1988, doctors have used cord blood stem cells to treat more than 30,000 patients3 suffering from diseases such as leukaemia, other cancers, blood disorders and in other clinical trials.
    Watch the interview with Dr Patrick Tan, Medical Director and Haematologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital on the importance of cord blood banking

    References:
    1 Be The Match website. www.bethematch.org. Assessed 21 Jul 2014
    2 Nietfeld JJ, Pasquini MC, Logan BR, Verter F, Horowitz MM. Lifetime probabilities of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the U.S Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2008;14:316-322
    3 Ballen KK, Gluckman E, Broxmeyer HE. Umbilical cord blood transplantation: The first 25 years and beyond. 2013; Blood: 122(4)
  • Most Advanced Technology Most Advanced Technology

    Sepax®2 - fully automated cord blood processing system

    (only available at Cordlife Singapore)

    Stem cell isolation is a critical step in cord blood banking. It affects the number of stem cells that can be harvested or recovered from the cord blood. Cell recovery rates are critical because a higher number of stem cells could enhance the success of the transplant or treatment.

    That's why Cordlife upgraded from processing cord blood manually to using a fully automated cord blood processing technology to help you maximize your investment. Cordlife is the only cord blood bank in Singapore that offers the world's most preferred fully automated cord blood processing technology, known as Sepax®2.

    Sepax®2 is a Swiss-made and U.S. FDA-cleared device offers safe and sterile technology to recover as high as 99%* of stem cells* from cord blood. The system is functionally closed which ensures the sterility of the cord blood by eliminating exposure to air contaminants.

    Main benefits of Sepax®2

    • Recovers as high as 99%1 of cells2 from cord blood; up to 52%3 higher than other processing methods
    • Consistently high yields, independent of operator skills
    • No sample mix up, only one cord blood unit per processing cycle
    • No cross contamination with other samples
    • Highly sterile

    References
    1Cordlife umbilical cord blood processing data as of 31 December 2010
    2Total nucleated cell. 3Valeri et al., Transfusion 1996; 36: 303-8.

    Sources: www.processedbysepax.com and Biosafe, manufacturer of Sepax® (figures accurate as of 17 November 2008).
  • Cordlife’s Cord Blood Release Track Record Cordlife’s Cord Blood Release Track Record

    As a Group, Cordlife has released a total of 36 cord blood units.

    Our proven track record for release is the ultimate validation of our processing and storage methods.

    RELEASE NO. MEDICAL CONDITION YEAR OF THERAPY TIME IN STORAGE RECIPIENT'S RELATIONSHIP TRANSPLANT HOSPITAL
    1 Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia 2002 < 1 year Sibling KK Women's & Children's Hospital
    2 Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia 2002 < 1 year Sibling KK Women's & Children's Hospital
    3 Thalassemia Major 2006 - Sibling University Malaya Medical Centre
    4 Acute Myeloid Leukaemia 2006 2 years 7 months Sibling University Malaya Medical Centre
    5 Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia 2007 - Sibling University Malaya Medical Centre
    6 Thalassemia Major 2008 1 year 7 months Sibling University Malaya Medical Centre
    7 Cerebral Palsy 2009 2 years 4 months Self Singapore Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    8 Cerebral Palsy 2009 3 years 2 months Self Vejthani Hospital, Bangkok
    9 Cerebral Palsy 2009 2 years 6 months Self Vejthani Hospital, Bangkok
    10 Brain Injury 2009 < 1 year Self Vejthani Hospital, Bangkok
    11 Thalassemia Major 2010 1 year 2 months Sibling Institut Pediatrik, GHKL
    12 Neuroblastoma 2010 2 years 11 months Self KK Women's & Children's Hospital
    13 Cerebral Palsy 2010 1 year 6 months Self Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    14 Thalassemia Major 2010 - Sibling Institut Pediatrik, GHKL
    15 Cerebral Palsy 2010 1 year 2 months Self Vejthani Hospital, Bangkok
    16 Cerebral Palsy 2010 < 1 year Self Vejthani Hospital, Bangkok
    17 Neuroblastoma 2011 2 years 5 months Self Queen Mary Hospital
    18 Thalassemia Major E beta Thalassemia 2011 2 years Sibling Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute
    19 Brain Injury 2011 2 years 11 months Self Vejthani Hospital, Bangkok
    20 Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia 2012 1 year 1 month Sibling Peking University First Hospital
    21 Cerebral Palsy 2012 1 year 8 months Self Duke University Hospital
    22 Thalassemia Major 2013 3 years 1 month Sibling University Malaya Medical Centre
    23 Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) 2013 < 1 year Sibling KK Women's & Children's Hospital
    24 Cerebral Palsy 2013 < 1 year Self Madonna and Child Hospital (Cagayan de Oro)
    25 Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy 2014 < 1 year Self Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    26 Cerebral Palsy 2014 2 years 10 months Self^ CHA Bundang Medical Center
    27 Cerebral Palsy 2014 2 years 10 months Self^ CHA Bundang Medical Centre^
    28 Cerebral Palsy 2014 4 years 8 months Self Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    29 Thalassemia Major 2014 3 years 8 months Sibling Institut Pediatrik, GHKL
    30 Cerebral Palsy 2015 1 year 8 months Self Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    31 Thalassemia Major 2015 1 year 4 months Sibling Apollo Speciality Hospital
    32 Thalassemia Major 2015 2 years 1 month Sibling Queen Mary Hospital
    33 Thalassemia Major 2015 1 year 1 month Sibling University Malaya Medical Centre
    34 Cerebral Palsy 2015 1 year 7 months Self Duke University Hospital
    35 Cerebral Palsy 2015 5 years 6 months Self Mount Elizabeth Hospital
    36 Thalassemia Major 2017 5 years 2 months Sibling Tata Medical Center

    ^This Korea transplant case is utilized for twins case and is therefore considered 2 separate infusions for 2 children

    *Kindly note that this list shows the cord blood release track record of Cordlife Group Limited and subsidiaries for the treatment of various diseases. This should not be used as a reference for the list of treatable diseases by cord blood stem cells. In addition, banking your baby's cord blood does not guarantee that the stem cells will provide a cure or be applicable for every situation. The use would ultimately be determined by the treating physician.

    6 April 2017

  • Diseases Treated With Stem Cells And Other Potential Applications Diseases Treated With Stem Cells And Other Potential Applications

    BLOOD CANCERS

    Leukaemia

    • Acute Biphenotypic Leukemia*
    • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia*
    • Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia*
    • Acute Undifferentiated Leukemia*
    • Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia*
    • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia*
    • Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia*
    • Juvenile Chronic Myelogenou Leukemia (JCML)

    Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

    • Acute Myelofibrosis
    • Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia
    • Essential Thrombocythemia
    • Polycythemia Vera
    • Systemic Mastocytosis*

    Myelodysplastic Syndromes

    • Refractory Anemia*
    • Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts*
    • Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts in Transformation*
    • Refractory Anemia with Ringed Sideroblasts (Sideroblastic anemia)*
    • Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia*

    Other Blood Cancers

    • Multiple Myeloma
    • Plasma Cell Leukaemia
    • Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
    • Histiocytic Neoplasms

    SOLID TUMOR

    • Hodgkin's Lymphoma*
    • Langerhans’ Cell Histiocytosis*
    • Neuroblastoma*
    • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma*
    • Retinoblastoma
    • Medulloblastoma
    • Wilms Tumor


    NON-MALIGNANT BLOOD DISORDERS

    Anaemias (Deficiencies or Malformations of Red Cells)

    • Aplastic Anaemia*
    • Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anaemia
    • Fanconi’s Anaemia*
    • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria

    Hereditary Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

    • Diamond-Blackfan Syndrome*
    • Dyskeratosis Congenita*
    • Pearson's Syndrome
    • Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome*

    Inherited Red Cell Abnormalities

    • Pure Red Cell Aplasia
    • Sickle Cell Anaemia*
    • Beta Thalassemia Major/Cooley's Anaemia**

    Inherited Platelet Abnormalities

    • Congenital Amegakaryocytosis Thrombocytopenia
    • Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia*


    IMMUNODEFICIENCY DISORDERS

    Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID)

    • Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome*
    • Omenn Syndrome*
    • Reticular Dysgenesis
    • Neutrophil Actin Deficiency*
    • SCID with Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency (ADA-SCID)*
    • SCID which is X-linked*
    • SCID with absence of T & B Cells*
    • SCID with absence of T Cells, Normal B Cells*

    Neutropenias

    • Kostmann Syndrome (Infantile Genetic Agranulocytosis)*
    • Myelokathexis*

    Phagocyte Disorders

    • Chediak-Higashi Syndrome*
    • Chronic Granulomatous Disease*

    Inherited Disorders of the Immune System & Other Organs

    • Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia
    • Gunther’s Disease (Congenital Erythropoietic Protoporphyria)*

    Other Inherited Immune System Disorders

    • Common Variable Immunodeficiency*
    • DiGeorge Syndrome*
    • Evans Syndrome*
    • Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
    • IKK Gamma Deficiency (NEMO Deficiency)*
    • IPEX Syndrome*
    • Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency*
    • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome*
    • X-linked Lymphoproliferative Disease (Duncan’s syndrome)*
    • X-linked Hyper IgM Syndrome
    • Ataxia-Telangiectasia


    METABOLIC DISORDERS

    Leukodystrophy Disorders

    • Adrenoleukodystrophy*
    • Krabbe Disease (Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy)*
    • Metachromatic leukodystrophy*
    • Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease*

    Lysosomal Storage Diseases

    • Alpha-Mannosidosis*
    • Gaucher’s Disease
    • Niemann-Pick Disease
    • Sandhoff Disease
    • Wolman Disease*

    Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Storage Diseases

    • Hunter Syndrome*
    • Hurler Syndrome*
    • Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome*
    • Mucolipidosis II (I-cell Disease)*
    • Sanfilippo Syndrome*
    • Morquio Syndrome
    • Scheie Syndrome*
    • Sly Syndrome (beta-glucuronidase deficiency)

    Other Metabolic Disorders

    • Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome
    • Lesch–Nyhan Syndrome*
    • Osteopetrosis*


    Clinical Trials

    • Alzheimer’s Disease*
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
    • Autism*
    • Brain Tumour
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Cartilage repair
    • Cerebral palsy*
    • Cleft Palate Repair (Alveolar)
    • Compartment Syndrome(Battlefield Trauma)
    • Critical Limb Ischemia
    • Crohn's disease
    • Diabetes Type 1*
    • Epidermolysis Bullosa*
    • Ewing Sarcoma
    • Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD)
    • Hearing Loss (acquired sensorineural)*
    • HIV*
    • Huntington’s Disease
    • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome*
    • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy*
    • Ischemic Heart Disease
    • Ischemic Stroke
    • Kidney plus stem cell transplant
    • Liver cirrhosis*
    • Lupus
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Myocardial Infarction
    • Open cardiac surgery for congenital heart diseases
    • Ovarian Cancer (Link to clinical trials)
    • Parkinson’s Disease
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Scleroderma
    • Spinal cord injury*
    • Testicular Tumour
    • Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts for cardiac defects
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Adrenoleukodystrophy
    • Chronic Granulomatous Disease (X-linked)
    • Fanconi Anemia
    • Metachromatic Leukodystrophy
    • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency X-linked (SCID-X1)
    • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency X-linked (ADA-SCID)
    • Sickle Cell
    • Thalassemia
    • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome
    • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
    • Lysosomal Storage Diseases

    The above is a list of some diseases that have been treated with cord blood and other sources of similar stem cells (haematopoietic stem cells), such as bone marrow and peripheral blood. Banking cord blood does not guarantee that the cells will provide a cure or be applicable in every situation. The use of stem cells will ultimately be determined by the treating physician.

    * Treated with cord blood.

    Reference:

    DCR 920 QR 8.1-8-11 b

  • Benefits of Saving Cord Blood Benefits of Saving Cord Blood
    Since 1988, umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used to treat an increasing number of diseases, including blood and metabolic disorders, immunodeficiency ailments and autoimmune diseases. These cells have been proven useful in the treatment of cancers and blood disorders such as neuroblastoma, luekaemia, lymphoma and thalassemia. Continuing breakthroughs promise to revolutionise cellular therapy and regenerative medicine in the near future.

    When transplanted into a patient, the haematopoietic stem cells migrate to the bone marrow and produce new blood cells, boosting the immune system. With the rapid advances in technology, the number of diseases treated by stem cell therapies is expected to increase.

    Top 5 compelling reasons for banking cord blood:

    • Approximately 3,000 Indonesian children younger than 15 years are diagnosed with leukaemia every year1.
    • Thalassemia major and leukaemia, 2 of the most common diseases in Indonesia, are treatable with stem cells. Once missed, stem cells can only be extracted from sources including bone marrow, which is a painful process.
    • You only have one chance to collect your baby's cord blood; at birth.
    • 1 in 500 babies in the world have cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder2. Recent developments in cellular therapy have shown potential for treatment.
    • Stem cells from our baby can also be used for his or her siblings. Research showed that patients recover better and survival rates are doubled when they receive stem cells from a relative3.


    References:
    Mostert S, Sitaresmi MN, Gundy CM, Veerman S and AJP. Influence of socioeconomic status on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia treatment in Indonesia. Pediatrics 2006;118;e1600-1606.
    Hirtz D, Thurman DJ, Gwinn-Hardy K, Mohamed M, Chaudhuri AR, Zalutsky R. How common are the "common" neurologic disorders?[abstract]. Neurology 2007;68(5):326-327. Accessed Dec 29, 2011, PMID:17261678
    Bizzetto R, Bonfim C, Rocha V, et al. Outcomes after related and unrelated umbilical cord blood transplantation for hereditary bone marrow failure syndromes other than Fanconi anemia. Haematologica 2011;96(1):134-41