Importance of donor ethnicity/race matching in unrelated adult and cord blood allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant

Celalettin Ustun, Veronika Bachanova, Ryan Shanley, Margaret L. MacMillan, Navneet S. Majhail, Mukta Arora, Claudio Brunstein, John E. Wagner, Daniel J. Weisdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Donor race matching (both recipient and donor belonging to the same race) might be a factor in outcomes of donor allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (alloHCT). A total of 858 patients who underwent umbilical cord blood (UCB) (475 patients: 202 double UCB and 273 single UCB) or unrelated donor (URD) (383 patients) alloHCT between January 1995 and December 2010 were studied. Most patients were Caucasian (87%), followed by Asians (4%), African Americans (3%), Hispanics (3%), mixed race (3%) and American Indians (< 1%). Caucasians constituted 88% of the donor grafts; Caucasians were the most common race of the donor grafts among all races except for Asians. As a result, Caucasians were much more likely to have a race-matched donor than ethnic minorities (91% vs. 33%, p<0.01). Donor race matching did not affect non-relapse mortality, relapse, acute or chronic graft-versus-host disease or overall survival. Acknowledging the limitations of this study (mainly, self-reported race information and small number of ethnic minorities), at present there are no data supporting that donor race should be considered a factor in donor selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH P30 CA77598 utilizing the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics shared resource at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center.


  • Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant
  • Caucasians
  • Donor
  • Ethnicity
  • Minority
  • Race


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