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Published

March 15, 2024

Updated

May 16, 2024

Can my baby find a public stem cell match if we don't bank their stem cells?

There is no easy yes or no answer to this question.

Medically reviewed by

There are multiple factors that play a part in finding a stem cell match from a public bank.

From our friends at Be the Match, "Research has found that a donor must match a minimum of 6 HLA markers. Many times a closer match is required. The best match is found through detailed testing. Because some HLA types are more common than others, some patients may face a greater challenge in finding a matching donor. Some HLA types are found more often in certain racial and ethnic groups.

"A close match between a donor’s and a patient’s HLA markers is essential for a successful transplant outcome. HLA matching promotes the growth and development of new healthy blood cells (called engraftment) and reduces the risk of a post-transplant complication called graft-versus-host (GVHD) disease."

Your odds of finding a donor match based on ethnic background are as follows:

  • Black or African American: 29%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 47%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 48%
  • American Indian & Alaska Native: 60%
  • White: 79%

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