Every day 6 Singaporeans are diagnosed with a blood-related disease. For some patients, a bone marrow transplant is often their last chance of survival.
A bone marrow transplant involves the infusion of healthy blood stem cells into the patient’s body to stimulate new bone marrow growth and restore production of healthy blood cells.
The search for a suitable donor usually starts with the patient’s family. Parents are always a half-match for their children because a child inherits half of the HLA markers from each parent.
There is only a 25% chance of a sibling being a suitable donor for a patient because there are four possible combinations for the maternal and paternal characteristics.
For patients requiring a transplant who do not have a related donor, an HLA-matched unrelated donor is the next best option. 70% of patients do not ﬁnd a match among their siblings and end up looking to a public register to provide them with a match. BMDP is Singapore’s only public register providing unrelated donors for patients.