Machine Learning Approach to Predicting Stem Cell Donor Availability

Adarsh Sivasankaran, Eric Williams, Mark Albrecht, Galen E. Switzer, Vladimir S Cherkassky, Martin Maiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The success of unrelated donor stem cell transplants depends on not only finding genetically matched donors, but also donor availability. On average 50% of potential donors in the National Marrow Donor Program database are unavailable for a variety of reasons, after initially matching a patient, with significant variations in availability among subgroups (eg, by race or age). Several studies have established univariate donor characteristics associated with availability. Individual consideration of each applicable characteristic is laborious. Extrapolating group averages to the individual-donor level tends to be highly inaccurate. In the current environment with enhanced donor data collection, we can make better estimates of individual donor availability. We propose a machine learning based approach to predict availability of every registered donor, and evaluate the predictive power on a test cohort of 44,544 requests to be.77 based on the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve. We propose that this predictor should be used during donor selection to reduce the time to transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2425-2432
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Donor availability
  • Donor selection
  • Machine learning
  • Stem cell transplant


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