Approximately 30 years ago, the Tissue Typing Laboratory at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel was created to serve a newly launched cadaver-kidney organ sharing program. The mandate of the Sheba Medical Center has evolved over the years from organ donation to include HLA typing for bone marrow transplants. The medical center performs approximately 140 pediatric and adult bone marrow transplants per year. Dr. Ephraim Gazit and his team are responsible for HLA typing in the laboratory for a variety of purposes including: HLA disease studies, to identify potential bone marrow donors in families and in the general population, to build a bone marrow registry and for organ transplantation.
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
France’s national agency for bone marrow transplants, the France Greffe de Moelle Registry, manages bone marrow donors from all over France, which currently numbers over 200,000. To many people, this number seems large. To those in need of a bone marrow transplant, the number can be insufficient. Each year, 2000 people in France with serious blood diseases (leukemia, lymphoma) can be treated with a bone marrow transplant, giving these patients an additional chance of recovery. The demand for bone marrow transplants grows each year and with the chance of a match between a donor and recipient at 1 in one million (and more difficult for certain ethnicities), an even larger database of donors is required to meet demand.
For the second time, DNA Genotek will be working with Anthony Nolan, the charity which runs the UK’s largest blood stem cell donor registry, to collect saliva samples at the Isle of Wight Festival, June 21-24, 2012. The Isle of Wight Festival is a music festival which takes place every year on the Isle of Wight in England. Many notable artists have performed at the festival including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and Coldplay. This year, Bruce Springsteen headlines with an expected attendance of 80,000 people. Our participation in this event supports Anthony Nolan as they strive to increase the number of young men in their registry. The festival attracts participants who meet Anthony Nolan’s donor profile of young men aged 18-30 which provides an excellent opportunity to grow the registry.
Last week, we unveiled an innovative award program that is designed to increase donor recruitment for Marrow Donor Registries. The DNA Genotek HLA Event Collection Award is designed to facilitate high-impact, event-based DNA collections using DNA from saliva. With this award program, DNA Genotek will provide saliva-based DNA collection kits and marketing materials to support a successful event-based collection. The program is intended for innovative event collection projects which may not be possible without saliva-based collection.
Many readers of The Genetic Link will be familiar with DNA Genotek’s involvement in event-based collections for breast cancer, epilepsy and for bone marrow donor registries. Most recently, we learned that the Oragene•DNA product was involved in another such event, although with a slightly different approach. The event was a campaign-based recruitment for the HLA-typing laboratory at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy to increase the number of donors in the registry. So what does this have to do with basketball? It all comes back to a man named Tarcisio Vaghi. Tarscisio was a professional basketball coach for the Legadue Castelletto Ticino with a career that covered many professional teams in Italy.
Do you like getting stuck by a needle when you give a sample of blood? Neither do I. It especially troubles me when I see one of my children have a blood draw. Now imagine that you’re a leukemia patient. Needles, needles everywhere! What if there was a way for you to get the testing that you need without the necessity of having another needle stick?