Cord blood is a rich source of Haematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs).¹

When it is transplanted into the patient, the HSCs can replace the damaged cells through regenerating new healthy blood cells.

Stem cell therapies continue to change and evolve quickly. As of December 2021, over 60,000 UCB transplants have been performed globally for over 80 diseases.

Did you know that the first successful umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplant was done more than 30 years ago?²

The treatment was for a 5-year-old boy with Fanconi anaemia, a life-threatening and rare condition where the body has insufficient amounts of all blood cell types. Since then, cord blood has been used mostly to treat children with certain blood diseases. Research is still being done for the use of cord blood to treat adults.


Currently UCB stem cells application is approved in Haematopoietic Stem Cells Transplantation (HSCT) treatment for a number of diseases³

like blood cancers, immune system disorders and inherited metabolic disorders.  Below are the diseases where HSCT is used as the standard therapy

Leukaemia (production of abnormal white blood cells)

Acute Biphenotypic Leukaemia
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia
Acute Undifferentiated Leukaemia
Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia
Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukaemia
Juvenile Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia


Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (overproduction of blood cells)

Acute Myelofibrosis
Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia
Essential Thrombocythemia
Polycythemia Vera


Myelodysplastic Syndromes (insufficient healthy blood cells)

Refractory Anaemia
Refractory Anaemia with Excess Blasts
Refractory Anaemia with Excess Blasts in Transformation
Refractory Anaemia with Ringed Sideroblasts (Sideroblastic Anaemia)
Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia


Other Blood Cancers

Multiple Myeloma
Plasma Cell Leukaemia
Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia
Histiocytic Neoplasms


Hodgkin Lymphoma
Langerhans' Cell Histiocytosis
Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (Burkitt’s Lymphoma)
Wilms Tumor

Anaemias (Deficiences or malformations of red cells)

Aplastic Anaemia
Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anaemia
Fanconi’s Anaemia
Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria


Hereditary Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

Diamond Blackfan Syndrome
Dyskeratosis Congenita
Pearson’s Syndrome
Shwachman Diamond Syndrome


Inherited Red Cell Abnormalities

Pure Red Cell Aplasia
Sickle Cell Anaemia
Beta Thalassemia Major/Cooley’s Anaemia


Inherited Platelet Abnormalities

Congenital Amegakaryocytic  Thrombocytopenia
Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia

Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID)

Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome
Omenn Syndrome
Reticular Dysgenesis
Neutrophil Actin Deficiency
SCID with Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency (ADA SCID)
SCID which is X linked
SCID with absence of T & B Cells
SCID with absence of T Cells, Normal B Cells


Neutropenias (insufficient production of neutrophils)

Kostmann Syndrome (Infantile Genetic Agranulocytosis)


Phagocyte Disorders

Chediak Higashi Syndrome
Chronic Granulomatous Disease


Inherited Disorders of the Immune System & other Organs

Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia
Gunther’s Disease (Congenital 
Erythropoietic Protoporphyria)
Systemic Mastocytosis


Other Inherited Immune System Disorders

Common Variable Immunodeficiency
DiGeorge Syndrome
Evans Syndrome
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
IKK Gamma Deficiency (NEMO Deficiency)
IPEX Syndrome
Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency
Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome
X linked Lymphoproliferative Disease (Duncan’s Syndrome)
X linked Hyper IgM Syndrome

Leukodystrophy Disorders

Krabbe Disease (Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy)
Metachromatic leukodystrophy
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease


Lysosomal Storage Diseases

Alpha Mannosidosis
Gaucher’s Disease
Niemann Pick Disease
Sandhoff Disease
Wolman Disease


Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Storage Diseases

Hunter Syndrome
Hurler Syndrome
Maroteaux Lamy Syndrome
Mucolipidosis II (I-cell Disease)
Morquio Syndrome
Sanfilippo Syndrome
Scheie Syndrome
Sly Syndrome (beta glucuronidase deficiency)

Lesch–Nyhan Syndrome
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome

Like the first Fanconi Anaemia patient that was saved through the cord blood transplant back in 1988, Lucas was also saved in the same way.

He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at the age of 10 and his parents started to look for treatment options. They realised that the success rate of using cord blood stem cells for transplant is higher as compared to using bone marrow stem cells. Thankfully, they stored Lucas’s two siblings' cord blood with StemLife. Much to his parents' relief, their younger son’s cord blood turned out to be a perfect match for Lucas. The ensuing cord blood transplant went smoothly in early 2018 in Kuala Lumpur and Lucas is now a healthy teenager!


Read more about successful transplants here