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A donor for all

Use of alternative donors can eliminate the donor availability barrier to transplant

The number of haploidentical related donor (HRD) hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) has grown significantly in the last decade, largely due to the use of post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) to prevent graft-versus host disease. But not all patients have a suitable or healthy HRD in their family. And some patients can develop anti-HLA antibodies that rule out some HRD family donors. This study asked how likely is it that these patients would be able to find suitable unrelated donors on the Be The Match registry?

Over a seven-year period—2013 to 2020—the records of more than 8,000 patients who’d had HRD transplants reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) database were examined to determine if they would have been able to find suitable unrelated donor (URD) match in the Be The Match Registry.

The results showed that most of the patients would not have had 8/8 URD matches but were likely to have 7/8 and lower matches. This is good news for patients and transplant centers alike. Having safe, effective transplant options for all patients using HLA mismatched alternative donors—related or unrelated—ensures that donor availability isn’t a barrier to transplant.

“These study results reinforce the critical role that HLA mismatched donor options, such as haploidentical related and mismatched unrelated donors, play in eliminating the donor availability barrier for patients in need of allogeneic transplant,” says Stephen Spellman, Vice President of Research, Be The Match. “With a donor available for all, research efforts can shift to focus on optimizing the transplant procedure and donor/patient match–mismatch characteristics.”

 Learn more by reviewing a comprehensive analysis and description of the study.

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