For anyone considering private cord blood banking, it is important to understand the potential for a cord blood unit.
Doctors select cord blood units to use for transplants based on quality measures such as:
- the number of cells (referred to as ‘total nucleated cells’ or ‘TNCs’) present in each unit and,
- the number of stem cells (CD34+ cells) present in each unit.
Most private cord blood banks provide this information to you shortly after the cord blood unit is received into the bank. It is important to understand how these measurements determine the potential for the cord blood unit so that you can make the right decision for you about whether or not to bank cord blood with a private cord blood bank.
The table ‘How could privately banked cord blood be used?’ will help you to understand how these measurements determine the potential uses for a cord blood unit. The table has been developed by the HTA with stem cell experts, including UK transplant centres, to help you make decisions about private cord blood banking; it is not meant to be a guide for clinical decision making.
Table: How could privately banked cord blood be used?
This table has been developed by the HTA with stem cell experts to give you an idea of how measurements like the number of TNCs and CD34+ cells in your cord blood can determine how privately banked cord blood could be used. We hope that this will help you to interpret information that may be provided to you by private stem cell banks about your cord blood.
- A ‘5 x 108’ is another way to write ‘500 million’. You may see numbers written this way on reports from the private cord blood bank.
- B Stem cells used for established treatments discussed in this section are prescribed according to the weight of the recipient patient.
- C ‘Transplant’ refers to transplantation for current established treatments as described in this guidance.
- D Based on a recipient weight of greater than 20 kg. For children weighing less than 20kg, appropriate cell numbers may be estimated based on weight using >2.5 x 107 TNC / kg and >2 x 105 CD34+ cells / kg.
- E Based on a recipient weight of greater than 50 kg. For adults weighing less than 50kg, appropriate cell numbers may be estimated based on weight using >2.5 x 107 TNC / kg and >2 x 105 CD34+ cells / kg.