Ulm - Last year 7,055 German citizens donated stem cells for people suffering from leukemia or another disease of the blood-forming system. The Central Bone Marrow Donor Register Germany () in Ulm pointed this out today. According to the register, 5,091 cell donations went abroad.
“The ZKRD in Ulm processed around 33,000 inquiries from Germany and abroad last year. In order to find the most suitable donor for each patient, our program compares the HLA characteristics of the patients daily with those of the donors registered in Germany and worldwide, ”said ZKRD managing director Carlheinz Müller.
In Germany, around ten percent of residents are currently recorded in the central register, which is more than 8.4 million potential donors. Compared to other European countries, this willingness to help is considerable, according to the ZKRD: Around 2.4 percent of the population of Great Britain and 0.5 percent of the French are currently registered.
26 donor files in Germany advertise, register and type new donors and report them anonymously to the central register. This makes the ZKRD the largest register of its kind in Europe and - after the USA - the second largest worldwide.
According to the register, 698,126 people registered with one of the 26 German donor files last year. If there is match - if the HLA characteristics of the donor and patient match - the blood stem cells can be taken from the donor.
This is rarely associated with an operation: In around 83 percent - or 5,847 - of the donors the life-saving cells were filtered out of the blood by means of the peripheral stem cell donation. In 1,208 samples, the stem cells were obtained from the bone marrow of the pelvic bone. The patient receives the donation after appropriate pre-treatment in the form of an infusion.