What options does a patient have who needs a bone marrow transplant, but cannot find an exact match?

Expert Answers

PaulODonnellMDPhD (Physician - Oncology - Hematology/Oncology (Verified) ) - 07 / 20 / 2012

Normally, the strategy to find a donor for an allogeneic transplant is to perform tissue typing called HLA-typing among a patient’s siblings to find a match. If no match is found, then an attempt is made to find a match within the international registries which contain up to 10 million potential donors. If no matched sibling or unrelated donor is found, there are two options available. First is to search for an umbilical cord blood donor in the registries of cord blood banks. Cord blood units do not need to be completely matched. Second, is to consider a family donor who is at least half-matched which could be a sibling, a parent or a child of the patient.
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