Purpose: Umbilical cord blood (UCB) stored in public inventories has become an alternative stem cell source for allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The potential use of autologous UCB from private banks is a matter of debate. In the face of the limited resources of public inventories, a discussion on "hybrid" public and private UCB banking has evolved. We aimed to explore the attitudes of the donating parents toward public and private UCB banking.
Study design and methods: A standardized, anonymous questionnaire was sent to the most recent 621 public UCB donors including items regarding satisfaction with recruitment process, the need for a second consent before release of the UCB unit for stem cell transplantation, and the donors' views on public and private UCB banking. Furthermore, we asked about their views on UCB research.
Results: Of the questionnaires, 48% were returned, and 16% were lost due to mail contact. Of our donors, 95% would donate to the public bank again. As much as 35% of them were convinced that public banking was useful. Whereas 27% had never heard about private UCB banking, 34% discussed both options. Nearly 70% of donors opted for public banking due to altruism and the high costs of private banking. Of our public UCB donors, 81% stated that they did not need a re-consent before UCB release for stem cell transplantation. In case of sample rejection, 53.5% wanted to know details about the particular research project. A total of 9% would not consent.
Conclusions: Almost all donors would choose public banking again due to altruism and the high costs of private banking. Shortly after donation, mail contact with former UCB donors was difficult. This might be a relevant issue in any sequential hybrid banking.