Woman laughing while holding baby

Cord Blood Limitations

Woman Holding Baby
Lab Tech Carrying Case of Vials

Cord Blood Alone is Not Enough

VitalsCells does NOT offer expectant parents an option to only bank their newborn’s cord blood and prefer both the cord blood and cord tissue for banking. VitalCells at the very least requires the cord tissue for processing. There are limited live stem cells natively available in the cord blood without culture expansion and thus does not align with VitalCells' mission to ensure your child has an ample amount of live stem cells available throughout their lifetime.

Multiple clinical studies have shown that the number of cells natively available in cord blood collection is too few to be used in children weighing more than 40kg or 88lbs (Gluckman et al. 2001, Benito et al. 2004, Harris et al. 1994).

There are current clinical studies that are administering 1 million stem cells per 2.2 pounds of body weight, whereas research showing that there are 1 million to 3 million live stem cells natively available in a cord blood sample.2Given the vast majority of small children and adults weigh greater than 3-6 pounds, it’s unlikely there will be sufficient live stem cells from banked newborn cord blood/tissue for even one treatment – without CellMaxx ™.

Traditional cord blood banks focus on preserving Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) derived from cord blood to be used for 80+ FDA approved conditions needed for a stem cell transplant. Beyond, HSCs being extremely limited in the cord blood, transplant medicine is defined as the HSCs being taken from one person and used for a different person. These HSCs are primarily not being released for the baby’s use.

A stem cell transplant using an individual’s own cord blood derived HSCs (called an autologous use) is not recommended for genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia, since the genetic mutations that cause these disorders are present in the baby's cord blood.

Several prominent medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Medical Association have shared their views on the limitations of the cord blood. They caution parents about private cord blood banking. The chance of privately banked HSCs from cord blood being used by your child is extremely low and limited.

Because of these limits and the uncommon occurrence of the diseases that can be treated with a stem cell transplant, there have been just more than 400 autologous cord blood derived HSC transplants in United States in the last 2 decades. In contrast, more than 60,000 unrelated donor cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide. *Umbilical Cord Blood Banking: Pros & Cons, Costs, Basics (webmd.com)

To be fair and balanced, the AAP and AMA does recommend traditional private cord blood banking if there is family history, or an infant has a full sibling with a malignant or genetic condition treatable with cord blood transplantation. These conditions include:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma (Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's)
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Krabbe's disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Other rare diseases

Keep in mind:

  • a brother or a sister has only a 25% chance of being a perfect genetic match. Thus, a sibling may require a bone marrow or cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor.
  • To find a suitable match for any type of transplant, 70% must look outside their family.