Asian Bone Marrow Donor Registries: Their Roles in International Cooperation
Although large registries of volunteer, unrelated marrow donors are now operating around the world, potential recipients are frequently unable to identify suitable donors. These searching patients may benefit from improved international coordination and cooperation, a better understanding of the HLA system and the requirements for HLA matching, and the development of alternative hematopoietic stem cell sources. In the United States, the National Marrow Donor Program has an established role in facilitating and promoting local cooperation, and in Europe, the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation serves that function. In Asia several registries have been established and are operating nationally and internationally. However, the association of registries in Asia has not been established. The purposes of this association include (1) to promote recruitment of volunteer donors of all major and genetically distinct ethnic groups in the Asian region and (2) to provide resources of information and expertise for countries wishing to establish a donor registry for unrelated transplantation. Furthermore, the association of Asian registries is particularly important to establish local, ethical, medical, technical, and financial guidelines for the recruitment and testing of donors, including HLA typing, collection and transport of marrow, and safety monitoring. This association would be a crucial step in the global collaboration of all marrow registries.