The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) is a leader in global research to help patients who need a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant (also called hematopoietic cell transplant). The NMDP Repository inspects, processes and stores more than 8 million DNA samples from potential marrow donors, donor-recipient pairs and research participants. A critical subset of those samples are from research participants. (The NMDP also operates Be The Match®.)
Donor-recipient paired samples
The Research Sample Repository contains more than 900,000 blood samples from more than 19,000 bone marrow transplants, making it a very powerful tool for researchers worldwide who study and improve transplant outcomes.
Blood samples stored in the repository are paired — one from the donor and one from the transplant recipient — and each pair is linked to the transplant’s outcome. While maintaining strict confidentiality, researchers analyze the level of matching between donor and recipient and — along with other factors such as patient’s age, disease stage and treatment — seek to discover those factors that can affect transplant outcomes.
Analyzing transplant timing and matching
The largest study to date using the NMDP Research Sample Repository examined 3,857 transplants and produced results that have changed clinical practice.
This study found that patients with fully matched donors who received a transplant later in their disease stage had lower survival than patients who received a transplant in early disease stage, even if the patients with earlier transplants used mismatched donors.
From this research, physicians learned not to delay transplants for their patients in the hopes of finding a fully matched donor. As the researchers wrote in their conclusion: "Expeditious transplantation with the best available donor, even if mismatched, may offer the best chance for survival." 
One way your funding helps
Be The Match Foundation® understands investing in cutting-edge research is critical to serving more patients in need of a transplant. Researchers' access to quality tissue samples is essential to continuing research and improving clinical practices.
The repository is one of the world's leading resources supporting transplant investigators, and greater storage capacity is needed to sustain that work. For example, it is estimated that 25 new liquid nitrogen cryogenic freezers for storing samples will be needed over the next five years. This and other needs can be funded by your contribution.
You have the power to heal. Please give today.
- Lee SJ, Klein J, Haagenson M, et al. High-resolution donor-recipient HLA matching contributes to the success of unrelated donor marrow transplantation. Blood. 2007; 110(13):4576-4583.