modified from the United States national marrow donor program website
Umbilical cord blood is playing an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases. If you have been told a bone marrow transplant (BMT) is a possible treatment for your disease, a cord blood transplant may be an option.
Umbilical cord blood is one of three sources for the blood-forming cells used in transplants. The other two sources are bone marrow and peripheral (circulating) blood. The first cord blood transplant was done in 1988. Cord blood plays an important role in transplant today. Doctors are still learning about the ways cord blood transplants are similar to and different from marrow or peripheral blood transplants.
Umbilical cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. This blood is rich in blood-forming cells. The donated cord blood is tested, frozen and stored at a cord blood bank for future use. The stored cord blood is called a cord blood unit.
Read more at http://www.marrow.org/index.html