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Can a child with cancer be treated with his or her own cord blood?

A child with cancer can sometimes be treated with autologous (their own) cord blood, and there are a few dozen documented cases from family cord blood banks, but it is very rare. Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year. The most common childhood cancer is leukemia, and we have another FAQ, "Can cord blood cure leukemia?", which explains that childen with leukemia and other blood diseases should receive cord blood transplants from a donor, not their own blood. However, children with cancerous solid tumors like neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, and retinoblastoma can receive transplants of their own cord blood. The very first case in the world where a child was given a transplant of her own cord blood happened in 1998 for a girl in Brazil who had neuroblastoma.

References:
American Cancer Society - Key statistics for childhood cancers
Ferreira E et al. 1999; Bone Marrow Transplantation 24(9):1041. PMID:10556967