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Stem Cells: Donors

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 153816, tabled on 14 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide support for projects that work with international stem cell donor banks to diversify the UK's donor register and give patients the best chance of survival.

Answered on

21 June 2018

The Department provides financial support to NHS Blood and Transplant and Anthony Nolan to enable improved provision of stem cells for patients requiring a transplant including funding for targeted efforts to recruit people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to the United Kingdom register. This funding has enabled the establishment of a unified stem cell registry for the UK, the ‘Anthony Nolan and the NHS Stem Cell Registry’.

Each of the UK’s stem cell registries that collectively form the ‘Anthony Nolan and the NHS Stem Cell Registry’ is a member of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) – a group of organisations and individuals who promote global collaboration and best practices for the benefit of stem cell donors and transplant patients.

The WMDA’s ‘Search & Match Service’ is a global database of life-saving donors that provides a fast search facility to find the best matched donor or cord blood unit in the world for a patient in need of a blood stem cell transplant.