Why should I register as a stem cell donor?

The chances for a leukemia patient to find a related donor are rather low: only approximately 30% of the patients find a donor within their close family. One reason can be found in the HLA (human leucocyte antigens) inheritance, another in the decreasing number of births, a demographic development that can be observed in many countries.

The importance of HLA matching
HLA matching improves the chances for a successful transplant outcome. Not only does it promote engraftment (the transplanted stem cells start reproducing new cells and the recipient’s immune and marrow function is recovering), it also reduces the risk of graft-versus-hosts disease, a complication in which the donor’s cells recognize the recipient's body tissues as foreign and the newly transplanted cells attack the recipient’s body.

Increasing the chances to find a donor
A higher the number of registered volunteer donors increases the chances that a patient will find a suitable donor within the registries. For some patients the stem cell transplantation is still the only chance for a cure or their survival.

Today more than 50 diseases are treated with stem cell transplantation. These diseases include leukemia, thalessemia, aplastic anemia, severe combined immune deficiencies and sickle cell anemia.