We are already 100,000 bone marrow donors!
So far this year, the number of bone marrow donors inscribed in REDMO is twice the number of last year, during the same period. Up until now, REDMO has 6,798 bone marrow donors registered, against 3,015 inscribed until July 2011.
Spain has reached 100,000 bone marrow donors, according to the last data given by REDMO (Spanish Bone Marrow Donors Registry), coordinated by the ONT (National Transplant Organization) and which is managed by the José Carreras Foundation against Leukaemia.
So far this year, a total of 6,798 people have been inscribed already in the Spanish Bone Marrow Donors Registry (REDMO), more than double the donors registered during last year's same period (3,015 until July 2011).
This proves that the citizens' solidarity, one of the main axes of the Spanish model of donation and transplants, keeps increasing.
The bone marrow is, along with the umbilical cord blood, a tissue rich in stem cells. The bone marrow donors are fundamental to many people who suffer from leukaemia or other haematological diseases, for only one in every four leukaemia patients waiting for a transplant (bone marrow or from an umbilical cord blood unit) has a compatible family donor.
In the remaining cases, meaning, in 3 of every 4 patients, the Spanish transplant network, through REDMO, looks for a non-family donor, that can be a bone marrow donor or an umbilical cord blood unit which are kept at the public banks.
SEARCH FOR A DONOR ACROSS THE WORLD
When a donor isn't found in our country, REDMO, extends its search across the world through the World Registry which is made up by more than 19,700,000 bone marrow donors and more than 500,000 umbilical cord blood units. This means that Spanish patients who need a transplant have the same possibilities of finding it as any other patient in world, for the search is always made in the international registries.
In the same way, REDMO takes care of the petitions of homologous foreign registries when the perfect donor for a patient of another country is Spanish or the umbilical cord blood is kept in one of the 7 public banks that exist in our country.
According to the data from REDMO, these numbers (bone marrow donors and umbilical cord blood units) allow 80% of the adults and 95% of the children to find a compatible non-family donor in our country.
The transplants made in Spain last year reached its historic maximum, with a total of 2,672. From these, 476 proceeded from a non-family donor (324 from bone marrow donors and 152 from umbilical cord blood units). The rest are transplants where the stem cells proceed from the same patient (autologous transplant) or from a family member (allogeneic transplants).
Between 2005 and 2011, these type of interventions have increased in Spain 39,9%. In fact, what has increased the most has been the number of transplants from non-family donors (allogeneic from an unrelated donor), which have been multiplied by 3 in the last 7 years.
COOPERATION AGREEMENTS WITH THE SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNITIES
The José Carreras Foundation, along with the ONT, has signed cooperation agreements with both the Catalan Transplant Organization (OCATT), as with the rest of self-governing communities to ensure the proper functioning of procedures of non-family donor searches and obtainment of the donation.
In fact, REDMO works with all 29 public Spanish hospitals that undergo bone marrow transplants of non-family donors.
The full development of REDMO and its integration in the healthcare public network of the National Health System took place in 1994, when the first Framework Agreement between the José Carreras Foundation and the Ministry of Health was signed. Recently the Framework Agreement, which updates the goals and procedures of cooperation, has been renovated in line with scientific and legislative changes in tissue transplantation.
The ONT, in collaboration with the OCATT in Catalonia and the rest of regional transplant organizations in the rest of Spain, the José Carreras International Foundation, the scientific societies implicated and the patient organizations, have planned a National Bone Marrow Donation Strategy, with the goal of doubling the current number of registered donors in REDMO, reaching 200,000 in the next four years. So far, Spain has betted on a model of blood stem cell donation based primarily on the umbilical cord blood (UCB). The implementation of the National Bone Marrow Donation Plan will increase the proportion of Spanish donors for our patients.
To read or download the REDMO Report of 2011, go here.