Since the first stem cell transplant occurred more than 50 years ago (1957), there has been a nearly exponential increase in stem cell transplants, and in late 2012, the millionth stem cell transplant occurred, a landmark event in stem cell medicine. Cord blood stem cells have distinct advantages over other sources, including that they are:
• More adaptable
• More pure
These traits result from cord blood stem cells being the earliest (non-controversial) stem cells that can be extracted from a living human, and therefore haven’t been exposed to viruses, chemicals, or pollutants in the environment that can alter cell function.
While bone marrow stem cells are the most commonly recognized type of stem cell used in transplant, cord blood stem cells are increasingly showing advantages over other stem cell sources, including reduced immune reactions (such as GvHD) and a greater flexibility for HLA-mismatched cord blood units to be used in transplant. Although cord blood banks began offering their services in the United States in the mid-1990’s, it is within the past ten-years that the percentage of cord blood transplants has significantly increased.
Today, it is clear that the stem cells contained within cord blood banking have the potential to improve and save lives. Since the first cord blood transplant was performed in 1988, stem cells derived from umbilical blood have been used in more than 30,000 transplants worldwide. However, many expectant parents still do not fully understand the significance of cord blood storage.
Unfortunately, a study published in the 2006 Journal of Reproductive Medicine showed that a third of expectant parents are unaware of the option to preserve cord blood. Of the two-thirds who have some knowledge, 74% describe themselves as “minimally informed.” The study also identified that 84% of prenatal patients expected their obstetricians to be able to provide them with information on the subject of cord blood banking; however, only about 14% were educated about cord blood banking by their nurse or obstetrician.
Subsequently, a 2014 Parent Survey conducted by BioInformant Worldwide, LLC (600+ responses from recent and expectant parents), identified that these percentages have shifted very little since 2006, despite attempts in most countries worldwide to encourage healthcare providers to offer prenatal patients balanced information on public and private cord blood banking options.
To learn more about this market segment, view the and the “Complete 2015-16 U.S. Cord Blood Banking Industry Report.”
Want to be better informed than your competition? Get future stem cell industry updates.
BioInformant is the first and only market research firm to specialize exclusively in the stem cell industry. BioInformant research has been cited by major news outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Medical Ethics, Xconomy, and Vogue Magazine. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, and Goldman Sachs, BioInformant is your global leader in stem cell industry data.