Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Factors Associated with a Better HLA Match

Jason Dehn, Mukta Arora, Stephen Spellman, Michelle Setterholm, Mary Horowitz, Dennis Confer, Daniel Weisdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The impact of non-HLA patient factors on the match of the selected unrelated donor (URD) for hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has not been fully evaluated. National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) data for 7486 transplants using peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) or bone marrow from years 2000 to 2005 were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression to identify independent non-HLA patient factors associated with completing a more closely matched URD transplant. Advanced (intermediate- and late-stage) disease was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of transplant using a less-matched (partially matched or mismatched) donor. Additionally, Black patients were 2.83 times, Asian patients 2.05 times, and Hispanic patients 1.73 times more likely to have a less-matched HCT donor than Caucasian patients. Younger patients, HCT at lower volume centers, and in earlier years had significantly higher likelihood of having a less HLA matched URD transplant. Our analysis provides encouraging evidence of HLA matching improvement in recent years. Initiating a patient's URD search early in the disease process, especially for patients from non-Caucasian racial and ethnic groups, will provide the best likelihood for identifying the best available donor and making informed transplant decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1334-1340
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial disclosure: This work was supported by Public Health Service Grant U24-CA76518 from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; Office of Naval Research (grant to the NMDP N00014-06-1-0704); Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS); and grants from AABB; Aetna; American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Amgen, Inc.; Anonymous donation to the Medical College of Wisconsin; Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada; Astellas Pharma US, Inc.; Baxter International, Inc.; Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals; BloodCenter of Wisconsin; Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Bone Marrow Foundation; Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group; Celgene Corporation; CellGenix, GmbH; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ClinImmune Labs; CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services; Cubist Pharmaceuticals; Cylex Inc.; CytoTherm; DOR BioPharma, Inc.; Dynal Biotech, an Invitrogen Company; Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Gambro BCT, Inc.; Gamida Cell, Ltd.; Genzyme Corporation; Histogenetics, Inc.; HKS Medical Information Systems; Hospira, Inc.; Infectious Diseases Society of America; Kiadis Pharma; Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd.; Merck & Company; The Medical College of Wisconsin; MGI Pharma, Inc.; Michigan Community Blood Centers; Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Miller Pharmacal Group; Milliman USA, Inc.; Miltenyi Biotec, Inc.; National Marrow Donor Program; Nature Publishing Group; New York Blood Center; Novartis Oncology; Oncology Nursing Society; Osiris Therapeutics, Inc.; Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.; Pall Life Sciences; PDL BioPharma, Inc; Pfizer Inc; Pharmion Corporation; Saladax Biomedical, Inc.; Schering Plough Corporation; Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America; StemCyte, Inc.; StemSoft Software, Inc.; Sysmex; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries; The Marrow Foundation; THERAKOS, Inc.; Vidacare Corporation; Vion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; ViraCor Laboratories; ViroPharma, Inc.; and Wellpoint, Inc. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, National Marrow Donor Program, or any other agency of the U.S. Government.


  • HLA match
  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Unrelated donor


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