The Perfect Match or...
The search for a needle in a haystack.
If the doctors, due to the progression of the disease, have decided on a transplantation with blood stem cells from an unrelated donor, a search request is sent to the Swiss Foundation Blood Stem Cells. The search for a compatible donor is immediately begun.
For this, all typing parameters of the registered donors in the Swiss registry are compared to those of the patient. At the same time the international databanks of registered donors worldwide are searched. This happens via a powerful computer system. Only in this way can the enormous amount of data be handled.
The worldwide network of the register is an important part of finding matching donors. At present, 69 different registers throughout the world have over 13 million unrelated, voluntary blood stem cell donors in their registries.
Every national register that makes available its (anonymous) donor data for foreign requests, receives in return the right to access the data in all the other registries.
Situation in Switzerland
At present, there are over 22,000 registered blood stem cell donors in Switzerland. The transplantation of blood stem cells is performed in Switzerland in Basel, Geneva and Zurich.
For years, the number of transplantations performed has been continuously rising. In the 90s, there were on average 10 first transplantations per year. In recent years, there have been about 60 transplantations per year, and the number is increasing every year.