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Histocompatibility and Donor Selection

World Marrow Donor Association framework for the implementation of HLA matching programs in hematopoietic stem cell donor registries and cord blood banks


A major goal of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) is to foster international transplants of hematopoietic stem cells through the establishment of guidelines and recommendations in this field. In this tradition, this study defines a comprehensive framework for HLA matching programs, which use intricate algorithms to rapidly select potential donors for a patient from a database and to present these donors in a prioritized list. Starting with the comparison of single HLA markers of the donor and the patient possibly obtained using different testing methodologies at different resolutions, the more complex matching of loci and phenotypes is inductively built up. The consensus of this international collaborative group describes the state of the art in the field and points out many important design options compatible with the best practice. This should help existing registries to review and validate the most critical part of their IT systems and newly created donor registries around the world to tackle one of their real challenges.

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This has been a project of the Information Technology Working Group of the WMDA. Working group members and the WMDA Board have provided valuable input to this paper.

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Correspondence to W Bochtler.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on Bone Marrow Transplantation website

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Bochtler, W., Maiers, M., Bakker, J. et al. World Marrow Donor Association framework for the implementation of HLA matching programs in hematopoietic stem cell donor registries and cord blood banks. Bone Marrow Transplant 46, 338–343 (2011).

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  • HLA
  • donor selection
  • matching program
  • framework
  • hematopoietic SCT
  • cord blood banks

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