Monday, February 13

CordLife, Making Cord Blood Banking in the Philippines Possible

Have you read/watched the novel/movie, "My Sister's Keeper?" In the story, the younger sister was conceived as a savior sibling, a perpetual donor for the older sister who was dying from leukemia. The younger sister's umbilical cord blood's stem cells were harvested at birth to provide treatment for her older sister. Do you know how precious umbilical cord blood is?

TV personality Lexi Schulze Berenguer-Testa entrusted her baby's cord blood to  CordLife.

Umbilical cord blood or cord blood is literally the blood that is found in a newborn's umbilical cord. Normally in the past, it's thrown away along with the mother's placenta until recent researches has shown that it can provide blood-forming stem cells. These blood-forming stem cells are capable of developing into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, which are all present in our blood. Thus, it has become a breakthrough treatment for certain kinds of leukemia, anemia, and diseases of the immune system.

Now, to be able to store this precious cord blood stem cells, cord blood banking will be done with the consent of the parents of the newborn child. CordLife is one such facility that specializes in collecting, processing, and cryopreservation storage of cord blood stem cells. The company was established in 2001 and has since grown to have the largest network of cord blood banks in the Asia-Pacific region. It is ISO certified and has been awarded “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum.

To know more about cord blood banking, kindly refer to the FAQs below:

FAQs on Cordlife

What is cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking involves the process of storing stem cells – agent responsible for replenishing the blood and immune system – collected from the umbilical cord immediately after birth. The stem cells have the ability to develop into new and healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

What is the difference between private cord blood banking and public cord blood banking?
Private cord blood banking is storing the baby’s cord blood for his or her own future use or use by a family member should the need arise. Alternatively, public cord blood banking involves donating a baby’s cord blood for potential use by a patient at large in need. When a family donates their child’s cord blood, they are relinquishing all their rights to own these cells.

How is cord blood banking done?
Cord blood is collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. Once it has been collected, the cord blood is transported to a cord blood processing and cryopreservation facility for specialized handling. Stem cells will be extracted from cord blood using the world’s first and only fully automated cord blood processing system, Sepax ®, followed by a step to gradually freeze down the stem cells before they are finally stored in a liquid nitrogen tank at -196°C permanently.

Does cord blood banking pose any risk to the mother or to the baby?
No, because the cord blood is collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. The collection is painless, easy, and safe for both the mother and the baby.

What diseases can be treated with cord blood?
Stem cells have been proven to successfully treat diseases including cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, blood disorders such as thalassaemia as well as immune deficiencies and metabolic disorders.

How can cord blood be useful for the family?
Researchers say stem cells from cord blood may be used to treat diseases of the family members since the chance of locating a cord blood match within the family is 60 percent higher than a bone marrow match, includes fewer complications, and has improved medical outcomes.

Must siblings have the same blood type in order for cord blood to be used by any of them?
No, Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) or tissue matching is used to determine donor and recipient compatibility – and it is irrespective of blood types.

Is cord blood banking available in the Philippines?
Cord blood banking is available at CordLife, the Philippines’ first world-class cord blood processing and storage facility which is located at the UP-AyalaLand TechnoHub Diliman, Q.C. Meanwhile, stem cell transplants are performed in The National Kidney and Transplant Institute, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Asian Hospital and Medical Center. These hospitals have the necessary facilities and expertise of medical practitioners to perform cord blood banking transplants.

How long can cord blood be stored?
Research shows that cord blood stem cells can be stored indefinitely as long as they are continuously stored in liquid nitrogen. With the required temperature, the stem cells will not lose its viability or biological activity.

For more information on CordLife and cord blood banking, visit, call 710-9195, or e-mail

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