Stem Cell Donation Through the National Marrow Donor Program
The HLA Registry
Marrow Donors Needed
Become a Donor
HLA Drives
Matching a Patient
Marrow Donor Questions and Answers
Marrow Donor Stories

Thousands of people suffer from diseases treatable with marrow or blood stem cell transplants. The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has been at the center of unrelated bone marrow transplantation for more than 10 years. Now, the role of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation as an alternative to bone marrow donation for unrelated transplants is being evaluated under a research protocol on file with the US Food and Drug Administration. The following is what you can expect if you volunteer to donate stem cells through the NMDP.

1. The first step is to join the NMDP Registry. NMDP representatives inform you about marrow and peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation processes. You complete a brief health questionnaire, sign a form

consenting to have your tissue type listed on the Registry and provide a small blood sample to determine your tissue type. Once listed on the Registry, your tissue type will be compared to the tissue types of thousands of patients around the world who need transplants.
2. If you are identified as a potential match for a patient, NMDP donor center representatives will ask for another blood sample to see whether you match well enough to be an actual donor for the patient. If you are indeed a match, you will receive further education about marrow and PBSC donation processes and which is the preferred process for this patient.    
3. To prepare for either donation procedure, you will attend an information session about the donation process and potential side effects of the procedure. You will have a physical exam to determine your health status and find if there are any special risks to you with either donation procedure. The health requirements are the same for marrow and PBSC donation.    
4. You decide whether to donate. After being fully informed about the donor experience, you make the decision -with the support of your friends and loved ones -about whether or not to become a dono    
5. The marrow collection process is a surgical procedure that occurs in a hospital operating room while you receive regional or general anesthesia.  Part of your marrow is removes from the back of your pelvic bone using sterile needles and syringes.

6. You should recover quickly from the procedure. Most donors have some bone pain and aches for several days or a few weeks. Your marrow naturally replenishes itself within four to six weeks.


5. For a PBSC donation, you will receive 4 or 5 daily injections of . Filgrastin, a stem cell growth factor medication that increases the number of stem cells released from your  marrow into your blood stream so they can be collected through an apheresis procedure

6. During apheresis, which is done at a blood center or hospital, your blood is removed through a sterile needle placed in a vein in one arm and passed through an apheresis machine that separates out the stem cells. The remaining blood, minus the stem cells, is returned to you through a sterile needle in your other arm.

7. Apheresis donors can experience bone pain prior to the donation procedure as a result of receiving Filgrastim. These effects diminish over one to two days after the last dose of Filgrastim is given.

After you donate stem cells, your NMDP donor center your coordinator will call you to follow-up on your experience.  Your coordinator will continue to call you regularly until you are able to resume normal activity, and annually for long-term follow up.

For more information about either procedure, call 1 (800) MARROW-2

or log on to www.marrow. org.