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A total of 258 infants and children with HS (ranging from 2 months to 18 years, with a median age of 16 months at transplant) who received an HCT between 1995 and 2007 were selected for analysis based upon certain criteria: a confirmed diagnosis of HS; a transplant of cells from a matched sibling donor (MSD), a matched or mismatched unrelated donor (UD), or cells from a single, unrelated cord blood (UCB) unit; and pre-transplant treatment containing a high dose of chemotherapy to help prevent their immune systems from rejecting donated cells.
Since the child does not have siblings, the next step is to search for matching unrelated donors -- either cord blood or matched unrelated donors --which is much more expensive.
He said the unrelated donor law is strictly enforced in all major Lebanese hospitals, including his own.
About a quarter of these stem cell transplants involved an unrelated donor and recipient.
This number represents less than 30 per cent of individuals who would otherwise be eligible to receive an unrelated donor bone marrow transplant because for the rest a fully matched donor cannot be found.
If a related donor is not available, then a matched unrelated cord or unrelated donor is used.
The Health Ministry is considering paying unrelated donors to boost the supply of organs, health minister Khaw Boon Wan said.
Matched-unrelated-donor stem cell donors Two alternative non-family sources of stem cells are now used, namely matched unrelated donor (MUD) transplants and umbilical cord blood transplants.