Doctors have experience using stem cells from umbilical cord blood (cord blood transplant), from peripheral blood (peripheral blood stem cell transplant) or from bone marrow (bone marrow transplant) in a bone marrow transplant.
In a cord blood transplant, doctors use stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood is the blood left in the umbilical cord after a baby's birth. The cord blood can be frozen and stored until it's used in an cord blood transplant. Mothers need to make arrangements to donate umbilical cord blood to a cord blood bank prior to their baby's birth.
Cord blood has fewer stem cells available than other bone marrow transplant options. However, the stem cells in the blood can grow a higher number of new blood cells than stem cells from bone marrow.
Researchers continue to study potential uses for cord blood, such as how it may be used in stem cell transplants for larger adults.