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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


Finding a Donor

If your doctor decides you will need to seek donor cells for an allogeneic transplant, the first potential source to consider will be a family member. Your best chance of finding a match usually is a brother or sister.

For transplantation to work, the donor’s tissue type must match the patient. This match is different from blood type and involves the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system. If HLA mismatch occurs, there can be increased risk for transplant-related complications, including graft failure and graft-versus-host disease (GvHD).

If no donor is found among your family members, a match may be located through the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry. The registry accesses millions of donor sources worldwide, including individual donors and stored cord blood units. You will assisted in all aspects of this search by a Vanderbilt-Ingram BMT coordinator who specializes in this area. Your assigned NMDP coordinator also will assist you with financial issues related to a donor search and be available to address any questions and concerns you may have throughout this process.

To learn more about finding a donor match: