Facts instead of Fiction

Since the first successful umbilical cord blood derived stem cells transplant in 1988, thousands of transplants have been effectively performed. Currently about 3,000 transplants are performed every year, meaning that we can safely speak of a medical standard. But irrespective of all the successes and positive developments in this form of treatment, the topic is being discussed at many levels and is still being frequently misunderstood.

Fiction: Saving Stem cells is simply not worth it.

FACT: According to today's knowledge, medical scientists believe there is a high probability that a child will use stem cells from its own umbilical cord blood later in life. It is at least 1/400- and growing.

Fiction: Umbilical cord blood cannot be preserved for a long time. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood that have been properly prepared for storage may get older that we do.

FACT: All research to date suggests that cryopreserved cells have virtually unlimited viability. This means that it is likely that they can be kept deep-frozen until we need them. Cryo-Save is totally committed to cryo-preservation research.

Fiction: Umbilical cord blood can only be used for children.

FACT: Of course adults can also be treated with umbilical cord blood derived from stem cells; they currently make up the majority of patients. Sometimes the amount available is not sufficient and the doctor needs to use additional stem cells from a different source. As far as regenerative medicine is concerned, the amount of stem cells is less relevant. Even a small amount could be sufficient to activate the regeneration of tissue.

Fiction: If umbilical cord blood is donated to a public bank, it will be returned should your child need it.

FACT: Only 30-50% of all donations are actually stored in public banks and the rest are discarded. Consequently, there is no guarantee that your own donation will be available at all. Even if it has not been destroyed, it cannot be guaranteed that it has not been given to someone else the moment your child needs it. Private storage is the only way this can be ensured.

Fiction: No umbilical cord blood is needed for stem cells; in the end everyone can receive from the bone marrow.

FACT: It is true that bone marrow does contain stem cells. However, they age in the same way as the body; potentially losing both vitality and usefulness and could be affected by the same diseases as the rest of the body (e.g. Type II diabetes). In contrast, umbilical stem cells are young, fresher and relatively unaffected by diseases, thus offering more flexibility. The umbilical cord blood also contains a wider range of stem cells types than bone marrow.