OBJECTIVE: To investigate the cost-effectiveness of private umbilical cord blood banking.
METHODS: A decision-analytic model was designed comparing private umbilical cord blood banking with no umbilical cord blood banking. Baseline assumptions included a cost of $3,620 for umbilical cord blood banking and storage for 20 years, a 0.04% chance of requiring an autologous stem cell transplant, a 0.07% chance of a sibling requiring an allogenic stem cell transplant, and a 50% reduction in risk of graft-versus-host disease if a sibling uses banked umbilical cord blood.
RESULTS: Private cord blood banking is not cost-effective because it cost an additional $1,374,246 per life-year gained. In sensitivity analysis, if the cost of umbilical cord blood banking is less than $262 or the likelihood of a child needing a stem cell transplant is greater than 1 in 110, private umbilical cord blood banking becomes cost-effective.
CONCLUSION: Currently, private umbilical cord blood banking is cost-effective only for children with a very high likelihood of needing a stem cell transplant. Patients considering private blood banking should be informed of the remote likelihood that a unit will be used for a child or another family member.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III
Given the current limited indications for umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant, private umbilical cord blood banking is not cost-effective.
From the 1University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and 2Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Division, San Francisco, California.
Dr. Caughey is supported in part by a grant under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program.
Presented as Abstract #332, Poster Session II, at the 29th annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, January 26–31, 2009, San Diego, California.
Corresponding author: Anjali Kaimal, MD, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0132, San Francisco, CA; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.