This common question comes up often when researching cord blood banking. Why do some banks only offer, 18, 20 or 25 years when other banks offer lifetime banking?
Here’s what we know:
Cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These cord blood stem cells produce the cellular ingredients necessary for the blood and the immune system and are crucial for transplants.
When stem cells are stored they are done so in a cryopreserved frozen state. The questions remains “how long can the stem and progenitor cells be maintained in frozen form and still be viable when they are thawed?”
“The key to cord blood banking is to properly cryopreserve the stem cells so that when they are thawed for therapy they are still alive and maintain the functional capacity of the cells to repopulate the blood cells in a patient’s body.”
In 2010, “Dr. Hal Broxmeyer, the scientist who invented our standard protocols for banking cord blood, stated in the journal Cell Stem Cell that his lab has thawed cord blood that was cryopreserved more than 23 years and found the recovery of viable stem cells undimished by time. “
In August 2017, a recent report from www.bloodjournal.org, evaluated the recovery of stem cells. Results showed that for up to 23.5 years there was a highly efficient recovery (80%- 100%). This is the longest time that cord blood has been frozen and thawed with efficient recovery of stem cells in a laboratory setting.
“It is likely that cord blood can be stored frozen for decades and still be a potent source of cells for transplantation” and in the next few years, a 30 year assessment will be done to further analyze the recovery of stem cells.
When choosing a bank you may have the option to bank for “lifetime”, however, past the 23.5 years we do not know if those stem cells banked will be viable.
As research evolves so does Maze Cord Blood. We offer various options for families including a 20, 25, and most recently, a 30 year package for storing your baby’s stem cells.