In recent years, human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) has emerged as an attractive tool for cell-based therapy. Although at present the clinical application of HUCB is limited to the fields of hematology and oncology, a rising number of studies show potential for further application in the treatment of non-hematopoietic diseases. HUCB, with its real abundance, simple collection procedure and no serious ethical dilemmas, represents a valuable alternative to the use of other stem cell sources. The aim of this article is to review the literature on HUCB and to assess its eventual usability in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. This review presents some recent reports concerning pancreatic endocrine stem cells and their identification, HUCB stem cells and their advantages and, finally, the potential for converting HUCBderived stem cells into insulin-producing β-cells.