The more donors there are, the greater the chance for a cure
Finding the right donor is not easy, because there are so many different tissue types combinations. By setting up an extensive database of volunteer donors, both in Belgium and worldwide, the chance of finding a compatible donor is increased. A suitable donor means ‘life’ for patients. You can become a donor yourself and possibly save someone else’s life.
What is the ‘Belgian Bone Marrow Donor registry’?
The Belgian Bone Marrow Donor registry manages a database that stores the data of voluntary donors who are prepared to donate stem cells for a patient. Many of these volunteers are never called on because the chance that they are compatible with a patient is less than 1 in 50,000. On the other hand, a compatible donor will only be found for a patient if there is are enough volunteer donors, because the chance here is also less than 1 in 50,000. So the more stem cell donors with different tissue types there are listed in the database, the greater the chance that the patient will find a donor and have a transplantation.
Increasing the chance by collaborating with foreign registries
To increase the patients’ chance of finding a suitable donor, the Belgian Registry collaborates very closely with all of the registries worldwide. Presently, there are approximately 60,380 volunteer donors listed in the Belgian Registry. Worldwide, over 18.8 million volunteer donors are registered with the international donor registry. In addition to these volunteer donors, approximately 16,000 units of umbilical cord blood are stored in the Belgian donor database.