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Background

Two competitive concepts of umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking are currently available: either allogeneic UCB is donated to a public bank or autologous cells are stored in a private bank. Allogeneic–autologous hybrid banking is a new concept that combines these two approaches. However, acceptance of hybrid UCB banking among potential donors is unknown to date.

Study Design and Methods

In a prospective survey, we aimed to establish the acceptance of the hybrid banking model among actual and potential UCB donors in Switzerland. The study groups consisted of parents and pregnant women with or without children. As control group, women at reproductive ages were investigated.

Results

The majority of participants agreed fundamentally with UCB donation, and overall acceptance of private banking was 47%. If a possibility for hybrid banking were to be made available, 49% would opt for such a public–private model and only 13% would choose private banking alone. Among the proponents of hybrid banking, a majority of participants chose donor cell splitting over the sequential banking mode. Fifty-six percent of responders wished prior notification before the release of their donated UCB to a foreign recipient.

Conclusions

This is the first study which compared the acceptance of allogeneic, autologous, and hybrid allogeneic–autologous UCB banking in different target groups. We demonstrated that hybrid cord blood banking is the preferred model of banking among actual and potential UCB donors. With increasing demand for UCB in the future, health care providers should therefore consider offering hybrid banking as a viable storage option.