Record number gets stem cell donations

Bnei Brak bone marrow registry matches record number for treating cancers.

Stem Cells 311 (photo credit: (University of Louisville Medical School)
Stem Cells 311
(photo credit: (University of Louisville Medical School)
A record 215 people in 2012 received stem cell donations for transplantation to save them from blood cancers, and almost 68,000 Israelis joined Ezer Mizion’s international bone marrow registry compared to almost 40,000 the year before.
A total of 1,079 matches between patients and potential bone marrow donors were found, but only some of them could be performed because the patient was not well enough to undergo the procedure or because of other medical reasons. The tissuetyping test is performed easily, by taking a saliva sample – and no longer a blood sample.
The voluntary organization’s registry was launched in 1998; the 2012 figure of recipients is the highest-ever since then. Some 660,000 individual samples are stored at Ezer Mizion, and by the end of last year, 1,213 bone marrow transplants – 639 in Israel – had been performed.
The rest were carried out mostly in the US, Germany and France. Thus, one out of 550 individuals who joined the registry has saved a life.
A third of those who underwent testing were soldiers, and 112 of the bone marrow transplants came from this sector.
Located in the city of Bnei Brak, the organization has one of the largest bone marrow registries in the world.
The fact that it contains samples from Jews of a large variety of origins helps Jews all over the world who need transplants to treat their leukemia or lymphoma.
Bone marrow registry director Dr. Bracha Zisser said that the accomplishments have been impressive. “There is no doubt that this is a huge lifesaving enterprise. The Israeli public in general and soldiers in particular save people almost every day,” she concluded.
Donations to finance testing of samples can be made by calling 1-800-236-236.