Joining the Registry
Donation Process
HLA Typing
Post Donation
Donor Responsibilities
Myths and Facts
Donor FAQs
Technical FAQs
Donor Experiences
Become A Donor
To join the Registry, you need..Read More
About MDR(I)
The MDR(I) is a database of voluntary Donors..Read More
- MDR(I) Registration form
- MDR(I) Donation form
> Frequently Asked Questions  
 Q. What is a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) / Stem cell Transplant?
Answer: Bone Marrow Transplant is transfusing into the patient blood stream HLA matched blood Stem Cells capable of developing into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, replacing a transplant patient diseased or damaged Stem Cells. Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant & peripheral blood Stem Cell transplant have become standard of care for such life threatening diseases such as incurable leukemia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia etc. Such transplants are potentially life saving. In India every year about 2 lakh patients require this form of treatment. Unfortunately HLA matched Donors are not easily available. This means that more than 1, 40, 000 patients are not given the best possible treatment. If unrelated but HLA matched Donors are made available transplant can be done & will provide hope of cure to these patients. A Bone Marrow transplant is the process of infusing healthy Marrow into a person to replace diseased or damaged Bone Marrow. The original Marrow is eradicated using high dose chemotherapy or radiation.
 Q. What is Bone Marrow and who needs it?
Answer: Patients suffering from a malignant disease such as leukemia may undergo treatment with radiation or chemotherapy to destroy the cancer cells alive in their body. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments are often successful in destroying the cancer cells, however, in the process; they may also destroy the patientís healthy cells and Bone Marrow. Bone Marrow is essential for the production of blood cells. If the Bone Marrow is destroyed, either from a malignant, non-malignant or genetic disorder, a Stem Cell transplant becomes necessary. Transplanted Stem Cells re-populate the Bone Marrow thereby replenishing the supply of cells of body which are necessary to maintain a healthy blood and immune system.
 Q. What is Bone Marrow?
Answer: Bone Marrow is a blood-based substance that can be found inside the hollow bones of body. It resembles blood & contains Stem Cells, which produces platelets, the red and white blood cells and forms the basis of immune system of the body. Marrow for transplant is usually collected from the iliac crest, which is part of the pelvic bone.
 Q. What are Stem Cells?
Answer: They are the Mother Blood Cells of the blood of human body and immune system. The Stem Cells that are used in Stem Cell transplants are blood Stem Cells. These cells have the ability to become the different types of blood cells (e.g., red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets). These Stem Cells are typically found in three places:
- Bone Marrow, the spongy substance in the bone.
- The blood stream, in smaller amounts.
- Cord blood, the blood in the umbilical cord and placenta when a child is born.
 Q. What are the different types of Stem cells Transplant?
Answer: There are two different types of Stem cells Transplants:
a. Allogeneic Stem cells Transplant involves the infusion of Stem cells from one person to another. Usually of the same or very similar tissue (HLA) type. To be successful they should be as closely matched as possible and the most suitable Donor is therefore usually a brother or sister.
b. Autologous transplant is the removal, storage of, and reintroduction of  the patient's own Stem cells. This is possible in only 2% of cases.
 Q. What is involved in the transplant process for the patient?
Answer: The patient is given high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation. These treatments ideally destroy all of the cancer cells, but they also kill other fast reproducing cells such as hair cells, the lining in the mouth and digestive tract, and blood Stem Cells (the cells that turn into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets). Without the blood Stem Cells, body of the patient is unable to create enough blood cells to sustain life. Once the patient is given the Marrow-Destroying treatments, there is no turning back. The patient is then given the Stem Cells of Donor by an infusion, similar to a blood transfusion. It takes about three weeks to see the first evidence of engraftment, which means that the new Stem Cells have taken hold in the patient system and are beginning to produce new blood cells. The patient will have a compromised immune system for quite a while and must take care as to who and what he comes in contact with. He may be hospitalized for several weeks after the transplant. The patient will receive many blood and platelet transfusions as well as injections of filgrastim until he is able to make sufficient blood cells on his own.
 Q. What happens if a patient can not get a transplant?
Answer: In most cases, patients who do not get the transplant they need will die. Certain treatments may prolong a patient life, but in most cases these treatments will not cure the disease. It is necessary for all those registered in MDR(I) to update their registration once a year for any illnesses they may have suffered during the past year & would be unfit to donate so that the Registry removes them from the list.