Umbilical cord blood is rich in the blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells, which can renew themselves and differentiate into other types of cells. Stem cells are used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases.
After your baby is born, these cord blood cells can be collected, preserved and later used as a source of stem cells for transplantation.
Cord blood is one of three sources of cells commonly used in transplant. The other two are bone marrow and peripheral (circulating) blood stem cells (PBSCs) obtained from adult volunteer donors. Learn more about the alternatives.
Through Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Cord Blood Donation Program your baby’s cord blood is donated to a public bank, where it may be found to match any of the patients around the world who search the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry for an available match.