DKMS BMST recently announced the successful registration of 12 million stem cell donors worldwide, providing 1,10,000 blood cancer or blood disorder patients with a second chance at life.
In India, the foundation has registered over 90,000 potential blood stem cell donors all over India, of which over 5,000 people are from Tamil Nadu.
The foundation has also facilitated more than 100 blood stem cell transplants in the last four years across India, thus, helped save lives of 100 blood cancer or blood disorder patients.
In India, where over 70,000 people succumb to blood cancer annually, accounting for 8 per cent of all new cancer cases, a blood stem cell transplant from an HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) matching donor is often the only hope.
However, only 25-30 percent of patients in need can find HLA matching donors within their family, leaving 70 per cent dependent on unrelated donors.
Dr Nitin Agarwal, HOD, Donor Request Management, DKMS-BMST, said, “India has high incidence of blood cancer and blood disorders such as Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia.
“One of the treatment modules we look at for blood cancer patients is stem cell transplant, but finding a matching stem cell donor is a great challenge. Despite the immense life-changing potential of this treatment, the shortage of HLA (tissue type) matched donors poses a critical situation leaving patients in a race against time. Hence, there is an urgent requirement for increased awareness,” he said. DTNext