World Cancer Day takes place this year on 4th February. A day of global unity, dedicated to raising awareness about cancer, World Cancer Day also plays an important part in dispelling myths about cancer, in addition to promoting early detection and prevention. 

This year’s World Cancer Day theme is ‘Close the Care Gap’, referring to the gap between the level of care received by privileged vs underprivileged cancer patients. 

On this significant day, we’re invited not only to reflect on the impact of cancer but also asked to consider how care outcomes for a cancer diagnosis could be improved.

One such way is through cord blood banking, which is already being used in over 80 treatments, including for leukaemia.

 In this blog, we will delve into the importance of cord blood banking and how it is offering hope in the fight against cancer.


Understanding Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking involves the collection and preservation of the residual blood from the newborn umbilical cord following birth.  

This precious resource contains powerful stem cells that can develop into various specialised cells, such as the ones in hair, skin, organs, blood and the nervous system.  

Their unique abilities to self-replicate and differentiate positions them at the forefront of regenerative medicine, a branch of medicine that makes use of stem cells’ potential capacity to repair, renew and regrow cells and tissues to treat a range of diseases. [1]


The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood stem cells are the approved therapy for over 80 diseases, including leukaemia, neuroblasts, and certain genetic disorders. 

Their relative naivety and plasticity when compared to stem cells derived from other sources makes them some of the purest and most powerful forms of stem cell available. 

Cord blood stem cells are a 100% match for your baby, meaning that they can be used in therapies without risk of rejection. They also have a good chance of being a perfect match for siblings and a partial match for family members, offering a safer and more accessible option for transplantation.

A painless and non-invasive procedure, cord blood collection is safe, non-invasive and poses little to no risk to the mother or baby. 

As medical research advances, the potential uses of cord blood stem cells continue to expand. 

Researchers are exploring their use in regenerative therapies that seek to harness the power of these stem cells in order to combat diseases that are currently incurable, including some forms of cancer. [2]


Promoting Cord Blood Banking on World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day provides an ideal platform to educate expectant parents and the general public about some of the most pioneering research happening to combat cancer, amongst them: cord blood banking. 

Understanding the potential lifesaving impact of this resource is the first step in motivating more families to consider this option.

World Cancer Day reminds us of the global challenge posed by this disease, but it also presents an opportunity to promote hope and innovative solutions. 

Cord blood banking is one such solution that has the potential to save lives and help in the battle against cancer. 


Sarah’s Story

For eight year old Sarah, for instance, cord blood banking was the last hope she had after both chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant proved ineffective in the treatment of her acute myeloid leukaemia. [3]

A form of cancer that attacks the monocyte or granulocyte cells, naive progenitor white blood cells from bone marrow, acute myeloid leukaemia predominantly affects children and young people.

Chances of a full recovery are rarely good.

Having undergone a bone marrow transplant from her brother, Sarah initially showed promising signs of recovery, until the cancer returned. 

Rounds of emergency chemotherapy were required to try to keep the cancer at bay, but it continued to return.

Seeing no other option for Sarah, doctors at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital offered her a pioneering stem cell transplant using donated cord blood.  

Incredibly, thanks to this treatment Sarah and five other children who also participated in the trial, are now in remission; their access to a healthy, happy life restored to them.

Although this transplant was the result of donation, privately banking cord blood stem cells means that your baby always has access to their own perfect donor match: themselves. 

This drastically reduces the risk of rejection should they ever need to access a therapy in future like Sarah’s.

With thousands of clinical trials currently underway to explore the potential uses for umbilical cord blood stem cells in a range of regenerative treatments, storing these precious cells the day baby is born could safeguard their future for years to come.

For more information about the power of cord blood banking, download your FREE Welcome Pack below.


[1] Weiss ML, Troyer DL. Stem cells in the umbilical cord. Stem Cell Rev. 2006;2(2):155-62. doi: 10.1007/s12015-006-0022-y. PMID: 17237554; PMCID: PMC3753204.

[2] Devi S, Bongale AM, Tefera MA, Dixit P, Bhanap P. Fresh Umbilical Cord Blood-A Source of Multipotent Stem Cells, Collection, Banking, Cryopreservation, and Ethical Concerns. Life (Basel). 2023 Aug 23;13(9):1794. doi: 10.3390/life13091794. PMID: 37763198; PMCID: PMC10533013.

[3] BBC (2023, June 20). Leukaemia: Umbilical cord blood transplant saved my daughter – mum. BBC News.


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