Cord Blood Updates:
What You Need To Know

From the number of cord blood transplants to new potential uses for these amazing cells, here are three recent updates worth knowing about!

  1. The number of transplants worldwide, using cord blood stem cells has grown.

Since the very first cord blood transplant in 1988, there have been more than 35,000 umbilical cord blood transplants performed worldwide in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases. Some of these diseases include certain cancers, genetic diseases, immune system deficiencies and blood disorders. 1,2

2. Your child’s generation may have new options.

The last few years has seen a shift in using cord blood stem cells exclusively for transplant indications into the growing arena of regenerative medicine research. Regenerative medicine refers to a process of using living cells to potentially replace or ‘regenerate’ cells that have been damaged by disease, genetics, injury or simply aging in order to restore or establish function in a patient.

Three research studies – all using a child’s own cord blood stem cells – are here:

  • Autism: An ongoing FDA Approved Phase I Clinical Research Study at Duke University is infusing patients diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder with their own cord blood stem cells. The goal is to determine the safety of a single intravenous infusion of autologous (self) umbilical cord blood in pediatric patients with Autism.  More details here.
  • Cerebral palsy: Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and her team at Duke University Medical Center recently completed a research study aimed to determine if cord blood stem cells may help children with cerebral palsy. More details here.
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS): The Mayo Clinic is conducting the first stem cell clinical research trial for pediatric congenital heart disease in the United States. The study is looking at safety and feasibility of using a newborn’s own umbilical cord blood stem cells as a potential additional treatment for the management of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). More details here.

3. ViaCord families are using their banked cord blood.

As of July 2016, 325 ViaCord families have used their banked cord blood for transplant or infusion.3 Of course it’s our hope that families will never need to use their banked stem cells, but the value in having them available for a family as part of a potential medical treatment option is something that motivates us to do what we do every day – help as many families as possible have a healthy future.

Here are the stories of two ViaCord families that have participated in recent research using their banked cord blood stem cells.

Ashton took his first steps at five years-old.


Watch his story here.

Brady overcame his challenges with cerebral palsy at a young age. Brady received his first infusion of his own cord blood at one year.


See how he’s doing now here.


1. National Cord Blood Program. cord blood can save lives. © 2015 National Cord Blood Program. 
2. Moise K Jr. Umbilical cord stem cells. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106(6):1393-1407. 
3. Data on file. PerkinElmer, Inc. As of July 2016.


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