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When choosing a stem cell bank there are two crucial questions that you should ask, both of which relate to stem cell processing. These questions are:

Can my baby’s cord blood be used more than once?
Will my baby have enough stem cells stored?

These two questions are vital, as the answers affect how useful your child’s sample will be in the future.

Cells4Life is the only cord blood bank in the UK that can answer yes to both:

Multiple Portions

We can store your baby’s cord blood across multiple portions, meaning we can thaw the amount required for a treatment, leaving the remainder in storage for future stem cell therapies.

Maximum number of cells

Powered by TotiCyte, the CellsPlus service provides 100%-400% more stem cells at the point of treatment than any other technology that we have tested. This includes all cord blood processing systems currently used in the UK. This is crucial as the more stem cells a cord blood sample contains, the more successful it is likely to be in treatment. TotiCyte is exclusive to Cells4Life in the UK.

Why is stem cell processing so important?

The way your baby’s cord blood is processed is crucial, as this is how cord blood banks prepare the sample for storage and ultimately use. Stem cell processing can affect the number of cells that are available, the types of stem cells that are available, the size of the sample and the number of times that it can be used. Any one of these factors could determine how effective that sample could be in treatment. Once a sample has been processed, it can’t be reversed, so it is vital that the best method is used.

Can I use my baby’s sample more than once?

Once a cord blood unit has been thawed, it is unlikely that it could be frozen again and still remain viable. As a result, each frozen portion of cord blood can be regarded as single use. Most cord blood banks store cord blood in a single unit, or in a single unit and a small reference vial, meaning the sample can only be used for one treatment, no matter how many stem cells it contains.

We are the only cord blood bank in the UK to give you the option to store your baby’s cord blood in multiple portions. That way, we can thaw the amount of cord blood required for a treatment, leaving the remainder safely frozen and in storage for future therapies.

Will my baby have the maximum number of stem cells processed possible?

The number of cord blood stem cells that your baby has access to can be greatly affected by the processing method that is used.

Most systems lose a large proportion of the cells within a cord blood sample. For some this is as high as 50% prior to freezing and over 80% post-thaw. Ultimately, you could end up losing the majority of the stem cells within your baby’s sample by the point of treatment.

When choosing a cord blood bank, it is vital that you find out what processing method they use and what percentage of cells will remain when a sample is required for therapy.

We are the only provider in the UK to offer the two best processing systems in the world. CellsPlus, which is powered by TotiCyte, is the leader, delivering 100%-400% more cells than any other method that we have tested, and the slightly more affordable Cells service is the next highest in terms of cell recovery.

Why is the number of stem cells important?

Depending on the treatment that the cord blood sample is needed for, usually 25 million cells per kilogram of body weight are required. This means that the more cells available, the heavier the person that sample is able to treat. The number of cells could even mean the difference between being able to treat a child and being able to treat an adult.

Dr Jeff Drew

Chief Scientific Officer, Cells4Life

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