Discovering umbilical cord stem cell banking – with Future Health Biobank

Every day around the world, babies are born and their parents choose to store stem cells from their umbilical cord. As a parent, it’s one of the first and most impactful ways you can look after the health of your child.

Whether it be due to the family's medical history, heritage, or simply wanting peace of mind, from day one, families know they are there, exclusively for their family, should they ever need to use them.

Future Health has helped hundreds of thousands of people store the stem cells of their children. As one of the world's largest and most experienced stem cell banks, storing well over 200,000 samples for over 100,000 families, Future Health believes in the power and potential of stem cells and has seen them transform many people's lives, over and over again.

Here Future Health would like to share with you some information about cord blood banking and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the process

What are stem cells?

Often called the body’s “master cells”, stem cells are the building blocks of all organs, tissues, blood, and the immune system. Everyone is born with stem cells, but they diminish over time as we age and are exposed to the environment.

As the building blocks of life, receiving a transplant of stem cells helps us regenerate tissues and recover from injury and illness, both at earlier and later stages of life.

What is umbilical cord blood banking?

Umbilical cord blood is the blood retained in your baby's placenta and umbilical cord after they are born. Cord blood stem cell banking is a way of preserving these stem cells at the earliest possible opportunity.

Cord blood is a rich source of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSCs have the ability to develop into the different cells within the blood, making them capable of treating potentially life-threatening diseases and illnesses.

The umbilical cord blood banking process involves carefully collecting your baby's cord blood and cord tissue at the time of birth before processing and storing it in banking facilities, such as Future Health’s state-of-the-art cryogenic facilities located in Nottingham.

What can stem cells treat?

Cord blood stem cells are used in 80+ standard therapies. These include blood cancers such as leukaemia and Hodgkin lymphoma, solid tumours such as neuroblastoma, blood disorders like aplastic anaemia and sickle cell disease, metabolic disorders like Hunter syndrome and osteopetrosis, and immune disorders like severe combined immunodeficiency and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

Clinical trials that are currently in process using cord blood and cord tissue also include autism, Crohn's disease, cerebral palsy, HIV, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

What are the odds of using stem cells?

Over 2,000 people in the UK are in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant every year. In some cases, cord blood can be used as an alternative to stem cells from bone marrow.

In 2017, it was estimated in the USA that by the age of 20, there is a 1 in 5,000 chance of a person developing a condition that could be treated by their own cord blood stem cells.

What else do I need to know?

Cord blood stem cells will always be a 100% match for your baby and have a 25% of a full match to their siblings.

To begin, you will need to let your midwife or consultant know you intend to collect your baby's stem cells, and our team will also guide you through the whole process.

We're always delighted to share this special part of a family’s life. with our team (Tel: 0115 967 7707, E-mail: if you have any questions or if you’re ready to get started with your stem cell banking journey.