Criteria for initiation and evaluation of minority donor programs and application to the example of donors of Turkish descent in Germany

DKMS German Bone Marrow Donor Center, Kressbach 1, 72072 Tübingen, Germany.
Bone marrow transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.57). 04/2009; 44(7):405-12. DOI: 10.1038/bmt.2009.55
Source: PubMed


Minority donor programs aim to improve access to unrelated hematopoietic SCT for specific ethnic groups through directed donor recruitment. We have developed criteria for initiation and evaluation of such programs and applied them to the situation of donors of Turkish descent in Germany, as well as a program by DKMS German Bone Marrow Center that targets this group. Criteria for program initiation include the number of accessible minority donors, potential impact on the chances of finding matching donors, and general access to unrelated transplantation for patients of the targeted group. Success criteria comprise number and availability of recruited donors, the effect of these donors on the HLA phenotype distribution of a donor file, and the number of donations resulting from the program. More than 40 000 donors of Turkish descent have been recruited within the analyzed program to date. Recruited minority donors show more favorable demographic characteristics but lower availability rates than do German donors. Although HLA haplotype distributions of Turkish and German donors differ considerably, patients with common Turkish HLA phenotypes should benefit from the German donor pool even without a specific minority program. The analysis of donations from minority donors, however, shows specific benefits for patients with rare HLA phenotypes.

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