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10,000 people join stem cell register but more needed

By Annabal Bagdi | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

More than 10,000 people from across the region registered to become life-saving stem cell donors last year.

A human stem cell

Nationwide charity Anthony Nolan said there are now more than 112,000 potential donors from the West Midlands.

A stem cell transplant could be a patient's best chance of survival if they have a condition affecting their bone marrow or blood.

Henny Braund, chief executive of the charity, said: "Despite a pleasing increase in the number of young men joining the stem cell donor register, the fact remains that 12 per cent of the register provides 57 per cent of all stem cell donations.

"We have had great success working with schools, colleges and universities across the UK through our Marrow and The Hero Project programmes – and will continue to focus our efforts in this area to meet our ambitious target of recruiting 100,000 potential donors a year by 2020, of whom 20,000 are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

“Anthony Nolan is delighted to work in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, the Welsh Blood Service and DKMS and will continue to work collaboratively to meet our shared vision of finding a match for every patient in need of a stem cell transplant.”

The annual review of the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry revealed the UK stem cell register now stands at 1.4 million but young men are significantly under represented.

More than 2,200 searches for a lifesaving transplant were made last year, with men making up 82 per cent of donors but only 12 per cent of men under 30 on the register.

Donors from minority ethnic backgrounds make up just 14 per cent of the stem cell register, with patients from black, Asian or other minority backgrounds having just a 20 per cent chance of finding a match.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton.

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