Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and HLA-Typing: The Potential for Selection of Unaffected HLA Matched Siblings
Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT or bone marrow transplantation) is an effective treatment for many disorders of the haematopoietic system and has the potential to offer a cure for life. It is therefore an important treatment option, and for some genetic conditions may be the only option available. Numerous reports show that the best survival outcomes are achieved when a sibling who has the same genetic HLA type as the patient is available. Preimplantation HLA typing provides the opportunity in specific cases to select an HLA-matched unaffected embryo that may be a suitable HSCT donor for an affected sibling using umbilical cord blood collected from the placenta at the time of birth. When the procedure of cord blood collection is unsuccessful, ethical issues are raised about bone marrow harvest from the ‘saviour sibling’.
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