WHY ARE HAEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELLS DONATED?

Haematopoietic stem cells are transplanted primarily to treat malignant and certain non-malignant diseases of haematopoietic organs (leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, multiple myeloma, malignant lymphoma or severe aplastic anaemia). The transplant of haematopoietic stem cells can also be used to treat certain solid neoplasms and autoimmune as well as certain other diseases. Frequently, the transplant of haematopoietic stem cells in these diseases is the only chance a patient has to survive. Haematopoietic stem cells are donated to provide patients with this chance.

However, not all people are suitable donors for a patient in need of haematopoietic stem cells. The largest obstacles are signs that we carry on the surface of our tissues. Every person has a distinct selection of these signs, called HLA tissue antigens, that is rarely repeated in another person, unless the latter is a sibling. A patient and donor must have matching tissue antigens. Slovenia Donor brings together unrelated Slovenian donors of haematopoietic stem cells, thus enabling the search for a donor with compatible tissue to that of the patient within our own lines. By cooperating with the global registry of haematopoietic stem cell donors, the search can extend to donors worldwide. The larger is the selection of donors, the higher is the chance to find a matching donor.

By entering the Slovenia Donor registry, one shows his or her readiness to donate haematopoietic stem cells for Slovenian and foreign patients, thus restoring their hope for life.