How does the search for a bone marrow or blood stem cell donor work?
Looking for a matching stem cell donor is like looking for a needle in a haystack. When a blood cancer or blood disorder patient depends on a blood stem cell transplant to survive, they need a donor whose human leukocyte antigen (HLA) characteristics are a 100 percent match, if possible. The patient's medical team sends a search request to local and international databases. If a potential donor is found to match the patient, the donor center will be informed and the registered donor is contacted immediately.
Four-in-10 patients do not find a matching donor. That is why we need as many people as possible to register as donors.