Store or donate stem cells

Private cord blood banks vs. Public cord blood banks

Umbilical cord blood is much too good to throw away. Therefore, many parents want to store their offspring’s cord blood to preserve a bit of safety for the future. They ask themselves: “Stem cells for individual precaution or donate them publicly?”.


Public donation of umbilical cord blood

Public cord blood banks store donated umbilical cord blood, which comes into consideration for transplantation to unknown recipients. The donated blood is listed in a public register anonymously.

Parents need to bear in mind though that more than half of the donations does not meet the strict quality standards for allogeneic stem cell transplants, e.g. the minimum cell count. They are therefore unsuited for long-term storage and will be either discarded or used in research. At the end, public cord blood banks actually store only one third of the donated umbilical cord bloods for quality, financial, and resource reasons. Many parents disapprove that they do not get any feedback whether the donated umbilical cord blood was stored or not, when they donate it to a public cord blood bank.


Figures and facts concerning the donation of umbilical cord blood in Germany.



Nevertheless, donating umbilical cord blood to a public bank may save lives. There is, however, no guarantee that the donated blood is available for application to yourself or your family in case of need.

Individual precaution differs from that: If you store the umbilical cord blood with a private stem cell bank like Vita 34, the stem cells are available for later application exclusively to the child itself or family members.


Types of stem cell transplantations

Donation or storage: VitaPlusDonation makes the decision easier

Even a couple of years ago, parents had to choose one of both variants, either private storage or public donation. Thanks to the VitaPlusDonation option, today you can combine both. Storing the stem cells from the umbilical cord for your child and donating the stem cells – the ideal combination of individual precaution and public donation of stem cells.

By choosing the option VitaPlusDonation, parents agree that the anonymized tissue characteristics are forwarded to a public stem cell register. Before that, they examine carefully, whether the umbilical cord blood is suited for donation. The donation note including the special HLA characteristics is furthermore recorded on the Vita 34 storage certificate.

Doctors all over the world can look for suitable donors for their patients by checking the HLA characteristics in the stem cell register. For this purpose, Vita 34 and international partners have established the public stem cell register StemCellSearch and operate the online portal 365 days a year. If doctors, patients, or relatives find what they are looking for in their research, they can send a request to Vita 34. Vita 34 forwards this request promptly to the parents of the potential stem cell donor. At last instance, they decide whether the stem cell deposit of their child is released for allogeneic transplantation.


The Vita 34 hybrid model VitaPlusDonation combines private precaution with public donation.

By the way… If parents opt to donate their child’s stem cells to help others, Vita 34 will reimburse the fees paid so far for VitaPlusDonation plus interest.


Vita 34 stands for highest safety and quality standards

The excellent quality of Vita 34 stem cell preparations facilitates the application within the family. This is confirmed by Paul Ehrlich Institute, an entity of the Federal Ministry of Health that reviews the licensing of vaccines and biomedical medicinal products, through the licenses granted to Vita 34. This way, siblings, parents, and grandparents may benefit from the stored umbilical cord blood in emergencies.

Like a fingerprint: HLA characteristics

The abbreviation HLA stands for human leukocyte antigens. They are a group of genes essential for the immune system to function and as unique as the human being itself. Therefore, we speak of the genetic fingerprint.

The transplantation of stem cells and tissue can be successful only when the HLA characteristics of donor and recipient match, i.e. they are almost genetic twins. Otherwise, the graft will be rejected..

Statistically, twins have at least a chance of 25 percent that the HLA characteristics of one child match those of the other child. Vita 34 offers a very special service by means of the sibling initiative..

If a critically ill child needs a stem cell therapy and a brother or sister is born to the family, Vita 34 stores the umbilical cord blood of the newborn at no charge for five years. The parents only need the confirmation of the doctor in attendance of the sick child that the treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord blood represents a therapeutic option.

More about the topic

Types and tasks of stem cells

Is each stem cell like the other? No, experts know different types of stem cells. Embryonic stem cells differ in their properties from adult stem cells, and omnipotent stem cells can do more than unipotent stem cells. And what is the difference again between mesenchymal stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells? Read the overview to learn all that.

Stem cells from the umbilical cord

Stem cells age with us and can suffer damages from diseases and environmental influences. Stem cells from the umbilical cord are different. They are extracted safely and easily right after birth and frozen by means of cryo-preservation. They do not age and remain untroubled by environmental influences and diseases.

Application of stem cells

Stem cells stored with Vita 34 have been applied successfully [anwendungen] times. They were applied in the treatment of cancers such as leukemia and neuroblastoma, hematopoietic disorders like aplastic anemia or beta thalassemia, immune defects like SCID or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, infantile brain damage and infantile diabetes type 1. Numerous clinical studies are being conducted worldwide researching the suitability of stem cells for the regeneration of damaged tissues after accidents or for cancer treatment.

Compare products and prices

As a precaution, store either the umbilical cord blood or the umbilical cord tissue after the birth of your child. We offer both at different prices and terms. Also a financing is possible. Optionally, you can also donate the umbilical cord blood.

Compare products and prices

Storing cord blood and cord tissue

Hello. Do you need further information?

Our guidebook for parents contains comprehensive information on the subject of cord blood storage. Order the guidebook by mail at no charge and without any obligation.

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