National Marrow Donor Program Helps Many
To begin a search for unrelated donors, oncologists consult the National Marrow Donor Program coordinating center in Minneapolis, MN, a network of international collection and transplant facilities. It maintains a list of more than three million donors, over one million of whom have been fully typed. Potential matches are found in about 70 percent of preliminary searches, although this rate is lower among certain ethnic groups. More extensive tissue typing is then performed to narrow the potential donor pool further.
The federally funded nonprofit National Marrow Donor Program can be reached at: http://www.marrow.org. Persons interested in donating blood stem cells and new mothers willing to donate cord blood can find nearby collection centers on this Web site. A technician at the center will draw a small blood sample and subject it to tissue typing. This information will be added to the database of potential donors.